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TIKIE [KDGiKnr OBEVc JdSffiJfy STAK&S [KAVEWS(D[FS(IDFT, IDoIIDo 



:bi3bvp or the mocESii ofnortw caiwuha- 



THE LIFE 



OF 



BISHOP RAYENSCROFT. 



BY 

JOHN N. NOKTOX, M.A., 

BBCTOE OF ASCENSION CHTTKCU, FRANKFORT, KY. ; AUTHOR OF " FULL 

„ ""TISTEY;" "ROCKFOKD pAwTew'' "ttpw nv 

BISHOP "WHITE," ETC. 



«' Preach the word ; be Inetant In eeason, out of season ; reprove, rebuke, exhort 
with all long-suffering and doctrine."— «. Paul's Charge to Timothy, the Bishop 0/ 
Ei>heeiit. 



NEW YOPwK: 

CScneral i3rotcstnnt HjJiscopal SunTJaj} School SHlnfon, 
anU ((tjurc!) aSook Societw, 

T62 BROADWAY. 

1858. 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in tlie year 1S53, 

By the Geseeal Protestant Episcopal Suxday School Union, 
AND Chukch Book Society, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the 
Southern District of New York. 



William Denyse, Pudnky <Sc Russkli,, 

8tkbe0ttfeh and electrotyper, pbintkr8, 

183 Waiam &i-eet, N. Y. 79 John Street, N. r. 



PUBLISHED 



BY 



THE DIOCESE 



MatW) «i;ar0,lina 






TO 

JOSIAII COLLIXS, ESQ., 

OF 

SOMERSET PLACE, SCUPPERXOXG, NORTH CAROLINA, 

AS A 

tribute cf |Us}JCCt 

FOR 

HIS DISTINGUISHED ABILITIES, 

AND 

FOR ni3 DEYOTIOX TO THE CAUSE 
OF 

Kf^t (2rf)urc8. 



" EvEEY Christian may, and should be, ready, in matters of indif- 
ference, to sacrifice mere opinions on the altar of peace and good 
order, and to yield a prompt obedience to lawful ecclesiastical 
authority. Such principles lead to the maintenance of the Church 
in her integrity. They forbid us to attempt amalgamation with sur- 
rounding brethren, separate, alike, in doctrine, polity, and institu- 
tions. Such views and conduct are often stigmatized with oppro- 
brious epithets. It is under such circumstances that a determined 
spirit of obedience to God, in all things, is required of us."— Bishop 
De Lancet's Sermon, published by request of the Wardens and 
Vestry of St. Luke^s Church, Rochester, N. F., 1844. 



P R E F A C E 



The materials out of which the biographer must con- 
struct his work, are oftentimes much more scanty than 
would be generally supposed. 

It is but seven-and-twenty years since Bishop Eavens- 
croft's decease, and yet, when the attempt is made (and 
that, too, with no little diligence and zeal) to discover 
his surviving friends, and to note down their remem- 
brances of him, the task is found to be almost as difficult 
as in the case of Bishop Seabury, who has been dead for 
more than sixty years. 

The truth is that we are living in a busy, bustling age, 
and one generation treads so closely upon the heels of the 
next, that the departed are too soon forgotten, and the 
benefit of their example, in many cases, is lost to the 
Church. 

This consideration, among others, has prompted the 
writer to prosecute his task of preparing this series of 
biographies, with all the expedition which so serious au 
undertaking will permit him to use. 



" Stand as an anvil, when it is bbaten upon." — 

St. Ignaiitis to St. Pdlyearp : both Marlyn. 



*' Stand, like an anvil," when the stroke 
Of stalwart men falls tierce and fast ; 

Storms but more deeply root the oak, 
"Whose brawny arms embrace the blast. 

" Stand, like an anvil," when the bar 

Lies, red and glowing, on its breast ; 
Duty shall be life's leading star, 

And conscious innocence, its rest. 

*' Stand, like an anvil," when the sound 
Of ponderous hammers pains the ear ; 

Thine, but the still and stern rebound 
Of the great heart that cannot fear. 

Bishop Doane. 



CONTENTS. 



C 1) n p t c V ffivst, 

PAGB 

An exception to a general rule, and yet a case which ends like all 
the rest — IJirth — Parentage — Kemoval to Europe — The Ameri- 
can boy at school in Scotland— Ilis father's death— The widowed 
mother and lu-r only son— Good seed not lost— The Bible in 
eehools— A higher school in England— What Mrs. Kavenscroft 
never dreamed of 18 

€t)apter Scconlr. 

Unsettled estates— Young Eavenscroft returns to Virginia- 17S9 
—State of the e<iuntry at that time— The Church awaking after 
long slumber — Success in recovering property — Plans fur study- 
ing law— William and Mary College— Dr. Madison, President 
and Bishop — Unrestrained license of youth — Worse and worse 
—Fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind 21 

€:f)aj)ter S:!)irlT. 

Little progress made at college— Turning over a new leaf— Mr. 
Burwells daughter — The influence which she was one day to 
possess- Visit to Scotland— Farewell to mother and friends- 
Settlement for life— A good wife— Eighteen years without God 
in the world — Kind and amiable traits — Morality not religion 
— One thing lacking— The fire going out on the altar— The 
blind leading the blind — God's long-sufiTering mercy 29 

Ciinptcv ffouxtli. 

Foolish and false — True statement of the case — Turning from 
darkness to light— ISIO, a memorable year— Solemn reflections 
—The resolutions of the self-righteous— Mortifying failures — 
The Bible read once more — Kenewed struggles to do right — 
Human strength again gives way— Convinced of sin -Prayers 
and tears— Dawnings of hope — What children may learn I'rom 
the narrative 36 



COXTEXTS. 



Cljaptct' JFiftl). 

PACK 

Open confession of Christ— Sad condition of the Church— Re- 
joicings of the enemy — Republican Methodists — The husband 
and wife received into communion — The events of throe years 
— "What conscience suggested — Obstacles — The decision' of a 
brave mind — Another difficult question — The origin of minis- 
terial authority— The study of God's oracles making him wiser 
than his teachers — Candidate for holy orders — Lay reading — 
Harsh judgment — Death of his wife — " Such a Saviour I" 44 



Ordination — Call to Mecklenburg — A vigorous laborer of forty- 
five — No sham commission — Allowance which should be made 
— Small beginnings — The offence of a faithful Gospel — Peculiar 
manner — " Am I the only person present who believes in God ?" 
— Mark his track in the "snow- Success— New church— Bishop 
Moore's report — Well-deserved honor— Dr. Wilmer's kind con- 
gratulations 52 

Second marriage— Losses and crosses— Diligence quickened— 
Influence among his brethren— Invitations to diflferent parishes 
— A call to a still wider field of usefulness — History of the 
Church in North Carolina— First settlement by the English- 
Trials of the early settlers— The Rev. John Blair, Missionary 
and Commissary — His first report — Fellow-laborers — Rev. 
John Urmston— Hardships— Results of labor 60 



The Rev. Mr. Rainsford— Service under the mulberry-tree— 
Baptism of negroes — Lodging in the old tobacco barn— Indian 
wars— Wearied and worn out — Fresh laborers in the field — 
Rev. Thomas Newnan— A large parish— How the Sundays 
were divided — Over-exertion and exposure do their work- 
Still another missionary — Laboring yet more abundantlj- — De- 
voted laymen— Desire "for Bishops fi9 



A well-tried layman turning missionary — A hundred baptisms a 
daj-- Mr. Garzia— The fifty pounds per annum— Scanty living 
— Clement Ilall— Wide field of labor, and much accomplished 
in it— Hard toil — Resting from his labors — Six clergymen in 
the Province— American Revolution— Dark aud dismal daya 



CONTENTS. 



Ibr the Church— The rally of 1T9 I— Another relapse— The day- "^ 
star arises at last 77 

Cljaptfv STcntt). 

A few more intermediate stops— Convention at Newborn in 1S17 
—The session in the year tollowinsj— An old i)amphlet— Con- 
vention at Fayeltoville- Important proeeedlnsrs— Kej)nrt on 
the state of the Church in North Carolina— liishop >[<)ore'a 
first visitation to the diocese — The labors of a year— Good 
hopes for the future 85 

Cijnptcv Hlcbentf). 

Bishop Moore visits North Carolina affain— Roport of his labors 
there- Important step in lv2:]— Mr. Eavonsoroft chosen Bishop 
of North Carolina— Qualifications for this position -Consecra- 
tion— Enters into the harvest— Settlement of first princii>les— 
Sermon at the primary Convention— Eneriry in preachinfj — 
Anecdote— Knowledge of human nature— The stajtce-coach dis- 
cussion about race-horses, and what grew out of it 93 ' 



Cfiaptci: ClDclftf). 

Severe labors— The penalty of over-exertion— Occupation of a 
sick chamber— Controversy— Divisions among Christians de* 
plored— Two modes of doing Church work— Both good in 
their way— The course which necessity urged upon Bishop 
Kavenscroft- Letter to Bishop Ilobart— Faint, yet pursuing — 
Humbleness of a great mind 101 

Ctaptcr Zi)ivtccnt\}. 

Brethren dwelling together in unity— Bishop Moore's letter— A 
Virginia Convention— Love for the Church— Men of praver — 
"Wrestlings of a devout spirit- Entering into the closet— De- 
light in the study of God's Word—" What commentator shall 
I consult V"— Teachings of the Spirit Ill 

€t)nptct jFourtccnti). 

A Sunday among the Moravian Brethren— Early service at the 
school— Worship in the church— Introduction to Bishop Be- 
nade— Love-feast— Friendly interview— Longings after unity 
—The Lord's Supper-Mode of its administration— Night serv- 
ice—Parting with mutual expressions of regard— A petition in 
which all true Christians must heartily unite 119 



201 COIfTEI^TS. 



©ija^ter JFiftecntij. 

eAQB 

The Bishop leaves the parish at Ealeigh — Eemoval to "Williams- 
borough— Last earthly tie broken— The Convention of 1S29 re- 
leases him from parochial charge — Visit to Tennessee and 
Kentucky— Labors of Dr. Chapman— Kentucky organized as 
a diocese— Bishop Kavenscroft at Lexington — ^Ninety-one con- 
firmed—Interesting particulars 12T 

d)apter ,Si):teent|). 

A long journey— State of health— General Convention— Medical 
advice— Prospect of recovery— Eeturn home— Eelapse — Last 
service— No more hope of life— Death-bed conversations— Dr. 
Freeman's narrative —Folly of repentance delayed until the 
close of life— Communiou of the sick— The sleep "of death 136 

€!)<t|)ter Sebentcentfj. 

Burial— Minute directions in his will — Library for the diocese — 
Works for the press— Personal appearance— Manners — Solem- 
nity in church— Eeports of eye-witnesses— Ordinary courtesies 
of life — An oft-told story spoiled — ^Love towards God — Success 
In the ministry— The best knowledge— Affection for his clergy 
—The wise old man at rest 146 



LIFE 

OP 

BISHOP RAYENSCROFT. 



Chapter lirst. 



AN EXCEPTION TO A GENERAL RULE, AND YET A CASE 

WniCn ENDS LIKE ALL THE BEST BIRTH — PARENTAGE 

REMOVAL TO EUROPE THE AMERICAN BOY AT 

SCHOOL IN SCOTLAND — HIS FATHER'S DEATH — THE 
"V7ID0WED MOTHER AND HER ONLY SON — GOOD SEED 
NOT LOST — THE BIBLE IN SCHOOLS — A HIGHER SCHOOL 

IN ENGLAND WHAT MRS. EAVENSCROFT NEVER 

DREAMED OF. 

^N" most of tlie biographies of the Bish- 

^1} ops of the Church which we have 

vP. hitherto had the privilege to write, 

we have had occasion to notice the 

happy effects which have uniformly 

followed the faithful instruction of 

2 



14 LITE OF BISHOP EAVENSCEOFT. 



parents. The life of Bishop Kavenscroft, 
while it is no exception to this rule, will yet 
be found quite different from the rest. It 
will serve to illustrate the fact, that although 
the good seed sown in childhood may lie for 
a long time dormant, and aj^parently dead, 
sooner or later, by God's grace, it will 
again appear, and bring forth fruit unto 
holiness. 

John Stark Rayenscroft was born in the 
year 1772, at an estate near Blandford, 
Prince George's County, Yirginia, which had 
long been in the possession of his family. 
He was the only child of Dr. John Eavens- 
croft, a gentleman of fortune, who had been 
educated for a physician. The Bishop's 
mother was the daughter of Mr. Hugh 
Miller, a native of Scotland, who resided in 
the same county. 

Dr. Ravenscroft's ample fortune and small 
family soon induced him to abandon his 
laborious profession, and within two months 



REMOVAL TO EUROPE. 15 



after the birth of his son he crossed the 
ocean, and spent a couple of years in the 
north of England. He finally settled, how- 
ever, in the south of Scotland. 

It is not known, certainly, why Dr. Eav- 
enscroft removed to Europe. Although many 
persons fled thither, as the stormy days of 
the American Revolution approached, it is 
unlikely that the troubles between the 
colonies and the mother country had any 
influence in this particular case. Great ex- 
citement had prevailed before, but the year 
1772, and the early part of the following 
one, was a season of remarkable tranquillity 
— so much so, indeed, that the opinion was 
generally entertained that the wiser and 
more righteous policy which the British gov- 
ernment had begun to pursue, would be the 
means of preventing all further difticulties 
with the colonies. 

Whatever Dr. Ravenscroft's motives may 
have been for leaving America, it was 



16 LIFE OF BISHOP EAYENSOEOFT. 



plainly his intention to return no more, as 
arrangements were made for the sale of 
his landed estates and other valuable prop- 
erty. 

This business was all arranged to his satis- 
faction, but in consequence of the unsettled 
state of the countiy during the war, the pay- 
ments were not promptly met, and he was 
in consequence somewhat embarrassed dur- 
ing the rest of his life, although he left his 
widow in easy circumstances. He died to- 
wards the close of 1780. 

And now only two actors are left upon 
the stage, the widowed mother and her son, 
a promising boy, eight years of age. 

The earliest recollections of Bishop Rav- 
enscroft were associated with Scotland — its 
clouds and mists, and its rugged and pictur- 
esque scenery. His mother was a strong- 
minded, intelligent woman, and she felt that 
the best part which she could do for her 
son was to give him the advantages of a 



GOOD SEED NOT LOST. 17 



thorough education. The schools of Scot- 
hiiid were celebrated for aflbrding peculiar 
lacilitics to the student, and the little 
American boy, thus early transplanted from 
his native soil, made good use of his oppor- 
tunities. 

Speaking of these early days, in a fragment 
of an autobiography, which, it is much to be 
regretted, was not made more complete, the 
Bishop remarks : " Here I received the rudi- 
ments of my education, and I feel bound to 
record that I owe much to the custom there 
established of making the Scriptures a school- 
book — a custom, I am grieved to say it, not 
only abandoned in the scliools and academies 
among us, but denounced as improper, if not 
injurious. Although I was unconscious, at 
^the time, of any power or influence over my 
thoughts or actions thence derived, yet what 
mere memory retained of their life-giving 
truths, proved of unspeakable advantage 
when I became awakened to the subject of 
2* 



18 LIFE OF BISHOP EAYENSCROFT. 



religion ; and I am constrained to believe, 
that what was thus iinconscionslj sown in 
my heart, though smothered and choked by 
the levity of youth, and abused and per- 
verted by the negligence and sinfulness of 
my riper years, was, neverthelessj a prepara- 
tion of Heaven's foresight and mercy, for 
grace to quicken me — a mighty help to my 
amazed and confounded soul, when brought 
to a just view of my actual condition as a 
sinner, both by nature and by practice. 
Without this help I might, like thousands 
of others, have wandered in a bewildered 
state, the prey of many delusions, engendered 
by the anxieties of a disturbed and ignorant 
mind, or by the fanaticism of those many 
well-meaning, perhaps, but certainly most 
ignorant men, who yet venture to become 
teachers of religion. For this reason it is 
that I have been earnest, during my min- 
istry, in pressing upon parents, and upon 
those w^ho have the care of youth, the great 



A HIGHER SCHOOL IN ENGLAND. 19 



duty of furuisliing their tender and pliant 
minds with the treasures of divine knowl- 
edge and saving truth, contained in God's 
revealed Word."* 

It is certainly taking a long step backward 
to leave the Bishop, in the maturity of his 
gigantic mind, and to return to tlie little 
American school-boy in Scotland ; but so the 
course of the story leads. 

When her son had finished his course at 
the Grammar school where he had first been 
placed, Mrs. Kavenscroft sent him to a semi- 
nary of somewhat higher grade in the north 
of England. Here, besides continuing his 
classical studies, he was instructed in Mathe- 
matics, ISTatural Philosophy, and other sci- 
ences. The mother could have had no idea 
how these treasures of knowledge would 
afterwards be used. Little did she think 
that this darling child — now growing np at 

<* Bishop Ravenscroft's Works, Vol. I., p. 8, etc. 



20 



LITE OF BISHOP KATEXSCEOFT. 



sucli a distance from his native land — would 
again go back, and there become, in after 
life, one of the boldest leaders in the warfare 
of the Church of God against the mighty 
power of Satan and his hosts ! 




Cljii^lu SuoulJ 



UNSETTLED ESTATES — YOUNG EAVENSCROFT RETURNS TO 

yiRGIXIA — 1789 STATE OF THE COUNTRY AT THAT 

TIME— THE CHURCH AWAKING AFTER LONG SLUMBER 

SUCCESS IN RECOVERING PROPERTY PLANS FOR STUDY- 
ING LAW WILLIAM AND MARY COLLEGE — DR. MADI- 
SON, PRESIDENT AND BISHOP UNRESTRAINED LICENSE 

OF YOUTH — WORSE AND WORSE — FULFILLING THE DE- 
SIRES OF THE FLESH AND OF THE MIND. 



AD Dr. Eavenscroft been able to 
make a satisfactory settlement of Ins 
aflairs on leaving Virginia, it seems 
more than likely that his son would 
never have returned to this country. 
A young man of fortune might 
have found enough to occupy his atten- 
tion among the refinements and pleasures 
of European society. But the all- wise Dis- 




22 LIFE OF BISHOP EAVENSCKOFT. 



poser of human events had other purposes in 
view. 

Soon after Mr. Ravenscroft had entered 
upon his seventeenth jear, his friends thought 
it advisable that he should return to Virginia, 
and endeavor to recover the portion of his 
father's estate which had so long been lost 
to his family. Accordingly^ bidding fare- 
well to all that he had ever known or loved, 
he left Scotland in the beginning of the 
winter of 1788, and reached Yirginia on 
IS'ew Year's day, 1Y89, a stranger to all 
around him, and in great part his own 
master. 

'No young man could possibly have been 
placed in circumstances of greater peril. 
With no intimate friends to watch over and 
advise him, and with means at command for 
the gratification of every desire, it would not 
have been strange if he had become the vic- 
tim of irresistible temptations, and been led 
on blindfold to ruin. 



STATE OF THE COUNTRY. 23 



Tlie period when Mr. Ravenscroft landed in 
America was a most eventful one in the liis- 
torj of this country. 1789 was the year when 
Geokqe Washington entered upon his duties 
as the first President of the United States, 
and the federal constitution was adopted. 

The earliest permanent settlement of the 
whites had just been made within the limits 
of the present State of Ohio ; and Tennessee, 
which had belonged to North Carolina, was 
ceded to the general government. The 
»^,otton-seed, planted two years before in 
South Carolina, had begun to give evidences 
of wliat might be expected in future from 
the cultivation of this profitable crop ; and a 
steamboat (well-named the Perseverance) had 
just commenced her regular trips upon the 
river Delaware, i unning eight miles an hour. 

Old-fashioned manners and customs still 
prevailed in Virginia ; and a stranger from 
abroad, as he shared in the generous and re- 
fined hospitalities of the " Old Dominion," 



24 LIFE OF BISHOP RATENSCROFT* 



might readily have imagined himself a guest 
at the mansion of some English lord. 

The Church, which, before the Eevolu* 
tionarj war, had been so strong in Yirginia, 
was now well-nigh extinct. It is true, Bishop 
Seaburj had been laboring in Connecticut 
for four years past, and Bishop White in 
Pennsylvania, and Bishop Provoost in IS'ew 
York, during half that period, to rouse the 
sinking energies of the few Churchmen who 
were left, but little did Mr. Eavenscroft sus- 
pect that lie would ever feel an interest in 
such a cause, and even share in their laboi-s ! 

He was so successful in recovering the 
wrecks of his father's property that he soon 
became master of an ample fortune. By the 
advice of his friends he now turned his at- 
tention to law, as presenting the fairest field 
of honor and emolument, and he accordingly 
entered William and Mary College, at Wil- 
liamsburg, Yirginia, with a view to the pros- 
ecution of that study, and to the acquisition 



WILLIAM AND MARV COLLEGi:. 2o 



of a more tliorongh acqiiaintance with the 
sciences. The lectures of the celebrated Pro- 
fessor Wythe were the chief attraction which 
determined him to seek the benefits of this 
institution. 

William and Mary College dates back its 
history from the year 1692, and the list of its 
presidents and professors includes the names 
of many who hare rendered themselves dis- 
tinguished, while the graduates compare 
favorably with those of any institution in the 
land.* 

When Mr. Earenscroft went to Williams- 
buro-. Dr. Madison (who was consecrated the 
first Bishop of Yirginia, in 1790) was at the 
head of the College, which position he oc- 
cupied until his death in 1812. 

The plan recommended by the young 
man's friends, that he should attend a course 
of law lectures, was, no doubt, a good one, 

« For a brief history of the College, see Duyckinck'a 
Cyclopredia of American Literature, Vol. I., p. 82. 

3 



26 LIFE OF BISHOP EATENSCEOFT, 



and miglit have been of the utmost advan- 
tage to him in after-life ; but the time which 
he spent at William and Mary was, to a 
great extent, worse than thrown away. The 
professors in the several departments were 
able men, and the regulations of the College 
were judicious in themselves; but they were 
not very rigidly enforced, and the conse- 
quence was that the students indulged in 
habits of extravagance and dissipation to an 
alarming degree. Separated by the wide 
Atlantic from the good mother who had 
watched over his infancy and boyhood, and 
supplied by a too indulgent guardian with 
almost unlimited means of gratifying his 
inclinations, Mr. Ravenscroft, though but 
seventeen years of age, did not fall far be- 
hind his companions in tlieir irregularities 
and excesses. 

His own straightforward confession will 
best disclose the true state of the case. " Ex- 
cept at the hours appropriated to the lectures, 



WOKSE AND WORSE. 



2r 



my time was at my own disposal ; and though 
expected to attend prayers every morning in 
the CoHege chapel, absence was not strictly 
noticed, and very slight excuses were ad- 
mitted. Attendance at church on Sunday 
was entirely optional, and the great subject 
of religion wholly unattended to.* 

The students were required to board in 
College ; but from the small number — ^not 
exceeding fifteen — from the low price of 
board, and the constant altercations with the 
steward — the public table was given up, and 
the students were permitted to board in the 
taverns, or elsewhere, as suited them. This 
every way injurious and most unwise per- 
mission presented fticilities for dissipation 
which would not otherwise have been found ; 
and encouraged, as they were, by the readi- 

c- When young William Meade (now the beloved Bishop 
of Virginia) was going to churcli, on Sunday morning, to 
be athnitted to Deacon's oi'ders by Bishop Madison, the 
students of the College were seen with their dogs and 
guns, setting out on a hunt ! 



^S LIFE OF BISHOP EAVENSCROFT. 



ness with which credit was obtained from 
persons whose calculations were formed on 
the heedlessness and improvidence of youth, 
temptation was divested of all present im- 
pediment to its power." 



(Lljitptcr fbiri. 



LITTLE PKOGRESS MADE AT COLLEGE TURNING OYER A 

NEW LEAF MR. BURWELL's DAUGHTER THE INFLU- 
ENCE WIIICU SHE WAS ONE DAY TO POSSESS VISIT 

TO SCOTLAND — FAREWELL TO MOTHER AND FRIENDS — 
SETTLEMENT FOR LIFE — A GOOD WIFE — EIGHTEEN 
TEARS WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD — KIND AND 

AMIABLE TRAITS MORALITY, NOT RELIGION — ONE 

THING LACKING THE FIRE GOING OUT ON THE AL- 
TAR THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND GOD's LONG- 
SUFFERING MERCY. 



f^\OU]^G Kavenscroft remained, for 
^r n / some time, a member of William 
^^ and Mary College ; but from the 
painful picture presented in the last 
chapter, no one can be surprised to 
learn that he made little progress 
with liis legal studies — and it does not ap- 
pear that he ever was admitted to the bar. 
Before leaving TVilliamsburg, however, an 
3* 



30 LIFE OF BISHOP EAYENSCROFT. 



event took place which was to be the means, 
in God's hands, of arresting him in his career 
of youthful dissipation, and of bringing him 
back into safer paths. He here became ac- 
quainted with a daughter of Lewis Burwell, 
of Mecklenburg County, who afterwards be- 
came his wife. She is represented as having 
been a most lovely and accomplished person, 
and one who exercised a very beneficial in- 
fluence over his wayward disposition. Her 
gentle temper was peculiarly adapted to a 
collision with his impulsive and ardent spirit ; 
and she possessed, at the same time, a firm- 
ness of character and correctness of principle 
which, Avhile it enabled her to mould his less 
established character, preserved her from the 
influence of his evil example. 

About the year 1792, Mr. Eavenscroffc re- 
visited Scotland for the last time, with a view 
of disposing of his property there, and mak- 
ing a permanent settlement in Yirginia. It 
must have been a sad parting with his wid- 



SETTLEMENT FOR LIFE. 



31 



owed mother, but she preferred to remahi in 
the land of her fathers, where she lived in 
ffreat comfort with her two sisters. She 
eould not withhold her consent, however, to 
the return of her son to that new and rising 
republic, where interest and inclination both 
seemed to lead him. 

At the age of twenty-one, Mr. Ravenscroft 
was married to Miss Burwell, and having 
abandoned all idea of prosecuting the pro- 
tbssion of law, he purchased a handsome es- 
tate, near his lathcr-in-law, in the healthy 
county of Lunenburgh, intending to devote 
the remainder of his life to agricultural pur. 
suits. 

" Thus removed [he remarks, in the frag- 
ment of his autobiography already referred 
to] from the temptations and facilities to vice, 
which our cities and towns present so readily, 
with regular and pleasant occupation on my 
farm, and my domestic happiness studied 
and promoted by the affectionate partner of 



32 LIFE OF BISHOP RAYEXSCROFT. 



my life, my years rolled on as happily — were 
the present life alone to be provided for — as 
could reasonably be desired. The personal 
regard I entertained for my wife increased to 
the highest esteem, and even veneration, as 
the virtues of her character opened upon me ; 
while the prudence and discretion of her 
conduct won me gi'adually from my previous 
dissipated habits."* 

Thus, for eighteen years, Mr. Ravenscroft 
continued to live — a devoted husband, a kind 
master, and a good neighbor, and universally 
respected by all who knew him. Having 
never been blessed with any children of his 
own, he acted the 2^ art of a father towards 
five orphans, who were placed under his care 
while infants, and no parent could have dis- 
charged his duties more conscientiously and 
faithfully. 

But although many a deluded moralist 

^ Bishop Kavenscroft's Works, Yol. I., p. 12. 



EIGHTEEN YEARS AVITIIOUT GOD. 



33 



may have built his hopes of salvation upon 
fi foundation more slender than that which 
Mr. Eavenscroft could have claimed for him- 
self, it must be confessed that during all these 
years he was living without God in the world, 
iind leaned only unto his own understanding. 
With no serious thought of religion, his Bible 
unread, prayer neglected, and every means 
of grace despised, how wretched was his lot, 
even while thus surrounded with all which 
could minister to the comfort of the body or 
pamper worldly pride! So great, indeed, 
was his contempt for even the outward forms 
of religion, that for eighteen years he was 
not present at any place of public worship 
more than six or seven times, and then not 
from choice, but from some accidental cir- 
cumstance, which seemed to require liim, as 
an act of politeness, to attend. He inter- 
ested himself, with his accustomed zeal, in 
the politics of the day, but found too much 
£ati5fa£tion in the bosom of the family to 



34 LIFE OF BISHOP KAVEXSCKOFT. 



allow ambitions feelings to draw liim awaj 
after the pursuit of those official stations 
which he was so well qualified to fill. 

With all his wealth, and the comforts of 
his home, Mr. Kavenscroft felt that some- 
tJdng was wanting to complete his happiness 
— the world was empty and unsatisijing, 
and still he had no hope beyond. 

Had the Church in Yirginia then possessed 
that life and vigor for which she is now dis- 
tinguished, he might have been earlier at- 
tracted by " the beauty of holiness" to seek 
the service of God. But, alas \ the fire had 
well-nigh burned out upon her altars, and 
her children, as sheep having no shepherds, 
were everywhere scattered abroad. Mr. 
Ravenscroft possessed too refined and well- 
cultivated a mind to be favorably impressed 
by those ruder forms in which religion wa& 
presented to his sight. "I soon found (he 
says) that I knew more of the Scriptures 
from memory than the preachers, and was 



god's long-suffering mercy. 35 



vain cnougli to think that I understood them 
better, and could apply them more correctly, 
than the well-meaning, perhaps, but certainly 
most ignorant, unqualified, and, of course, 
injurious men, who appeared around in the 
character of ministers of religion. But as I 
had no spiritual senses as yet cpiickened in 
me, the preaching of the Cross, even from 
an angel, would have been to me as to the 
Greeks of old — foolishness, 

" Oh, what a miracle of long-suffering, 
that in all this time God was not provoked 
to cut me oft! What a miracle of gi-ace 
that I am permitted to tliink and speak of 
it, and to adore the riches of Ilis mercy, in 
bringing me to a better mind !" 




FOOLISH AND FALSE TEUE STATEMENT OF TKE CASE— 

TUEXIXG FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT 1810, A MEMOR- 
ABLE YEAR SOLEMN REFLECTIONS — THE RESOLUTIONS 

OF THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS — MORTIFTING FAILURES — THE 

BIBLE READ ONCE MORE ^RENEWED STRUGGLES TO DO 

EIGHT HUMAN STRENGTH AGAIN GIVES WAY CON- 

TINCED OF SIN PRAYERS AND TEARS DAWNINGS OF 

HOPE WHAT CHILDREN MAY LEARN FROM THE NAE- 

EATIYE. 

/^\ S many false and foolish stories were 
^r\§^ circulated, respecting the causes and 
f^--/v^ manner of that marvellous change 
^-3 in Mr. Kavenscroft, by which he put 
c/f, concerning the foy^mer conversa-^ 
t'lon^ the old man^ and put on the 
new man, which, after God is created in 
righteousness and true holiness, he was per- 
suaded by his friends^ towards the close of 




TRUE STATEMENT OF THE CASE. 37 



life, to draw up a statement himself. 1 
should consider it presumptuous in me to 
attempt to give this narrative in words other 
than his own : 

''It was in the year 1810 that it pleased 
God to set my mind at work, and gradually 
to bring me to doubt the dark security of my 
unawakened state. But I am not conscious 
of any peculiar incident or circumstance that 
lirst led me to considerations of this kind. 

" As I was tlie manager of my OAvn estate, 
which comprised a set of mills, as well as a 
plantation, about two miles distant from each 
other, I was, of course, much alone — at least 
in that kind of solitude which gives the mind 
opportunity to commune with itself. It was 
in my rides from one to the other, and while 
superintending the labors of my people, that 
a train of thought, to which I was previously 
altogether unaccustomed, began to occuj^y 
my attention, and though dismissed once 
and again, would still return, and with every 
4 



38 LIFE OF BISHOP RAVENSCROFT. 



return would interest me more and more. 
That the train of thought thus suggested con- 
cerned my condition as an accountable crea- 
ture will be readily imagined, as, also, that 
on the review I found it bad enough. This 
it was no difficult thing for me to feel and to 
admit, nor as yet did there appear much dif- 
ficulty in reforming what I could not justify. 
"An impatient and passionate temper, 
with a most sinful and hateful habit of pro- 
fane swearing, in which I was a great pro- 
ficient, were my most open and besetting 
sins. These, however, I considered as within 
my own control, and as such, set forthwith 
about amending them ; but without any re- 
liance upon God for help, or without much, 
if any, impression that it was at all needful. 
In this endeavor at reformation, which it 
pleased God thus to permit me to make, I 
went on prosperously for a season, and began 
to pride myself in that self-command I seem- 
ed to possess. But my own weakness was 



THE BIBLE READ ONCE MOllE. 39 

yet to be showed me, and when temptation 
again assailed me, all my boasted self-com- 
mand was but as a rush agaiust the wall. I 
surrendered to passion, and from passion to 
blasphemy. When I came to reflect upon 
this, then it was that, for the first time in my 
life, I was sensible of something like concern 
—some consciousness of wrong beyond what 
was apparent. But without waiting to ex- 
amine further I hastily concluded to exert 
myself more heartily, and yet to command 
myself thoroughly. 

"During these my endeavors, however, 
the Scriptures were more and more the ob- 
ject of my attention, and from them I began 
gradually to discover (what I was very loath 
to admit) the true state and condition of 
human nature. What little I had lately 
come to know of myself, however, and all 
that I knew of the world, seemed to rise up 
as strong proofs that the doctrine of our 
natural depravity was true. 



4:0 LIFE OF BISHOP EAVEXSCEOFT. 



" Willing to escape from it, I resorted to 
the subterfuge of too many among us — that 
what we find in the Scriptures is figuratively 
expressed, and is, therefore, not to be taken 
in the strictness of the letter. But my own 
experience was to be the expositor of the 
Word. Again and again were my self- 
righteous endeavors foiled and defeated, 
much as at the first, and liumbled and con- 
founded, I became alarmed at what must be 
the issue — if I was thus to remain the sport 
of passions I could not command — the prey 
of sin I could not conquer. Something like 
prayer would flow from my lips, but it was 
the prayer of a heart that yet knew not 
aright its own plague. One more efiort was 
to be made, and Avith great circumspection 
did I watch over myself for some weeks. 
Still did I continue, however, my search in 
and meditation upon the Scriptures ; and 
here it was that I found the benefit of my 
early acquaintance with them. I had not to 



CONVINCED OF SIN. 41 



look afar olf for their doctrines, they were 
familiar to my memory from a chikl. I had 
known them thus far, though now it was 
that tlieir living proof was to be experienced. 
The whole, I believe, was to be made to de- 
pend on my acquiescence in the turning 
point of all religion — that we are lost and 
undone, spiritually dead and helpless in our- 
selves — and so I found it. 

" Again, and dreadfully, did I fall from 
my own steadfastness — temptation, like a 
mighty man that shouteth hy reason of wi?ie, 
swept my strength before it, carried away 
my resolutions as Sampson did the gates of 
Gaza. 

" I returned to the house convinced of my 
own helplessness, of my native depravity, 
,and that to spiritual things I was incom- 
petent. I now found of a truth that i7i me 
dwelt no good thing. I threw myself upon 
my bed in my private room — I wept — I 
prayed. Then was showed to me my folly 
4* 



4:2 LIFE OF BISHOP RAVEXSCROFT. 



in trusting to an arm of flesli. Then did it 
please the Lord to point my bewildered view 
xo Him who is the Lord our righteousness. 
Then was I enabled in another strength to 
commit myself unto His way. From that 
moment my besetting sin of profane swear- 
ing was overcome, and to this moment has 
troubled me no more. But much was yet to 
be done, which the same gracious Friend of 
poor sinners continued to supply, and to lead 
me, step by step, to j^ro claim His saving 
name, and declare His mighty power openly 
to the world." 

Thus much for this interesting narrative. 
There are many things which even children 
may learn from it. That time is well spent 
in which they are employed in learning by 
heart passages of the Holy Scriptures, to be 
recited to their parents at home, or to their 
teachers at Sunday School. These sacred 
treasures will profit them in after-life. Mr. 
Bavenscroft's history shows, also, how wretch- 



WHAT CHILDREN MAY LEARN. 



43 



ed every cliiUl of Adam must he, until he 
litis made the Lord Jesus Christ his Friend. 
AVe are reminded, too, that without the help 
of God's grace we need not hope to he ahle 
to do right. How true are those words of 
the Hymn : 

God will support our hearts 
With might before imknowu ; 
The work to he perform' d is ours, 
The strength is all His own. 




Clrautn liftl] 



OPEN CONFESSION OF CHEIST SAD CONDITION OF THE 

CHURCH EEJOICINGS OF THE ENEMY REPUBLICAN 

METHODISTS THE HUSBAND AND WIFE RECEIVED INTO 

COMMUNION THE EVENTS OF THREE TEARS — WHAT 

CONSCIENCE SUGGESTED OBSTACLES THE DECISION 

OF A BRAVE MIND — ANOTHER DIFFICULT QUESTION 

THE ORIGIN OF MINISTERIAL AUTHORITY THE STUDY 

OF god's ORACLES MAKING HIM WISER THAN HIS 

teachers candidate for holy orders lay 

reading harsh judgment death of his wife 

"such a saviour!" 



K. EAYE^^SCKOFT had thus 
been led, by God's good Spirit, to 
renounce all dependence on his 
own unaided efforts, and to look 
to an Almighty arm to guide his 
feet into the ways of truth and 
peace. 

He was too well read in the Bible not to 




PAD CONDITION OF THE CHURCH. 45 



know that a piiLlic confession of Christ be- 
fore the worhl was required of liini, and lie 
began to think of uniting liiniself with the 
Chnrch. Ahis ! how much perplexity of 
mind he might have been spared, if the 
Apostolic Church of God, a branch of which 
had been planted in Virginia, had only been 
true to herself, and had now been able to set 
up her banners for tokens to those who were 
seeking for the true Ark of the Covenant ! 
But such was not the case. The Episcopal 
Church was at its lowest ebb. The little 
ettbrt which Bishoj) Madison had been dis- 
posed to make at the beginning of his Epis- 
copate had given place to hopeless despair. 
The enemies of Zion looked upon her as 
dead. But had they forgotten the j^romises 
of God to His Church ? 

In making a public confession of his Sav- 
iour, Mr. Bavenscroft, having never turned 
his attention to the cpiestions of Church gov- 
ernment and ministerial authority, merely 



46 LIFE OF BISHOP EAVENSCROFT. 



looked about among the divers and dis- 
cordant sects which overran the land, and 
chose a society called Bejpublicaii Method- 
ists^ as being the most nnexceptionable. 
He says that he was influenced, in this 
matter, by personal friendship for one of 
their preachers, Mr. John Robinson, of Char- 
lotte County. 

The Bepublican Methodists had a station, 
for preaching, eight miles from Mr. Ravens- 
croft's plantation, and here he and his wife 
were admitted to membership, according to 
the forms of that body. The new convert 
was so zealous in the cause, that on those 
Sundays when no preacher was present, he 
conducted public worship himself, and read 
a printed sermon for the benefit of the con- 
gregation. 

Three years thus passed away, and Mr. 
Ravenscroft began to reflect whether it 
might not be his duty, in a country so des- 
titute of religious privileges, to devote him- 



WHAT CONSCIENCE StJGGESTED. 47 

self exclusively to the ministry. Conscience 
eeenied to nrge liim to take tins important 
step, while self-intei-cst, and the dread of 
exciting the ridicule of his neighbors, kept 
him, for a season, in an unsettled state. 

He was too independent and bold a man, 
however, to be influenced long by consider- 
ations of this nature, and soon the determin- 
ation was formed to enter upon the work. 

But now the question occurred to his mind, 
where w^as he to look for authority to act as 
an ambassador for the Most High ? 

He read, and studied, and consulted with 
preachers of various denominations on the 
subject, and at last he became firmly con- 
vinced that " the awful deposite of the Word, 
by which we shall all be judged, could never 
be thrown out into the w^orld to be scrambled 
for, and picked up by whosoever pleased to 
take hold of it." 

His old friends, the EepuUican Method- 
ists, being merely a voluntary society of 



is LIFE OF BISHOP EAVENSCliOFT. 



men and women, banded together for a 
good object, indeed, but with no authoritj 
from God to establish a church, could not 
supply what his reason and conscience 
obliged him to seek after* He accordingly- 
asked for a letter of dismission from their 
communion, which being reluctantly grant- 
ed, they parted as kind and aifectionate 
neighbors. 

Mr. Ravenscroft now turned his attention 
to the other religious bodies about him, but 
found none which could show a valid com- 
mission for its ministers, except that branch 
of Christ's Church known in this country as 
the Protestant Ej^iscopal. He hastened to 
Bichmond, and laid his credential as to 
character and standing before good Bishop 
Moore, and was received by him as a can- 
didate for holy orders. This took place in 
February, 1S16. He was now required to 
pass one year in study, before he could be 
ordained Deacon ; but during this period he 



nxnm jitdgment. 49 



made himself useful as a lav-reader in the 
parishes of Cumberland, Lunenburg County, 
and St. James, Mecklenburg. 

The whole history of Mr. Ravenscroft's 
coming into the E^^iscopal Church is a re- 
markable one. There were no fomily asso* 
ciations to turn his mind that way, and he 
had no intimate friend to exert an influence 
over him. or place books in his hands from 
which information could be gained. His 
interest and his inclination led him in other 
directions. But the prayerful study of the 
Bible, and that alone, brought him to the 
conclusion that the Episco]3al Church was 
that which was founded by Christ and His 
Apostles in the beginning, and which was 
to last always, even unto the end of the 
world. 

Those who have been disposed to judge 

harshly of Bishop Ravenscroft, because he 

so strenuously supported these views through 

all his after-life, should remember the pecu- 

5 



50 LIFE OF BISHOP rayf:nsceoft. 



liar circumstances which brought him into 
the Chnrch, and consider what very strong 
reasons he had for believing himself to be 
in the right. 

" Had he been trained np from a child to 
love and venerate the Chnrch, or had he 
been led by the mere force of education or 
expediency to become a member and a min- 
ister of it, it is possible that his feelings in 
relation to it might have been somewhat 
different from what they were."^ 

Before Mr. Ravenscroft's mind had been 
thoroughly made ujd on the question of 
Church government, he was called to bear 
a heavy loss, in the death of his beloved 
wife. This occurred in 1814. She had been 
baptized in the Church in tender infancy, 
and had adorned the doctrine of God oui 
Saviour by her consistent life, and had the 
satisfaction of seeing her husband, once so 

o Bishop Ravenscrott's Works, Vol. I., p. 21. 



" SUCU A SAVIOUR !" 51 

hardened in Lis sins, a devout servant of 
Christ. As he watched by lier dying bed, 
she would oftentimes exchiini : " Oh, how 
good it is to have a Saviour, and such a 
Saviour !" 



fiiljHjtU ^UU). 



OEDINATIOX CALL TO MECKLEXBURG — A VIGOEOrS 

LABOREE OF FORTY-FIVE — NO SHAM COMMISSIOX AL- 

LOWAXCES WniCn should be MADE SMALL BEGIX- 

NIXGS THE OFFENCE OF A FAITHFUL GOSPEL 

PECULIAR MAN^EE " AM I THE ONLY PEESOX PEESEXT 

WHO BELIEVES IX GOD?'' MAEK HIS TEACK IX THE 

6X0W SUCCESS XEW CHUECH — BISHOP MOOEE's EE- 

POET — WELL DESEEVED HOXOE — DE. WILMEE's KIND 
COXGEATULATIOXS. 

E. EAYENSCKOFT was ordained 
Deacon, by Bishop Moore, in the 
Monumental Church, Richmond, 
April 25, 1817, and at once ac- 
cepted an urgent invitation to be- 
come the minister of St. James' 
Parish, Mecklenburg County, where lie had 
done much good service as a lay-reader. 

The clergy in Virginia were now too few, 
and too widely scattered, to make it expedi- 




NO SHAM C0MMI8SI0X. 53 



eut for a laborer to go forth without liis full 
commission — and accordingly on the Gtli of 
May, in the same year, he was ordained 
Priest, in the church at Fredericksburg, dur- 
ing the session of the Convention in that place. 
Mr. Eavenscroft was no youthful stripling, 
putting on his armor early in life, and look- 
ing forward to long years of toil ; but a man 
of five-and-forty years, who felt that too 
much time had already been wasted, and 
that he must use all diligence, before his 
days of usefulness should end. " On re- 
turning to my parish,'' he remarks, in the 
closing sentence of his narrative, " deeply 
impressed with the awful commission in- 
trusted to me, and with the laborious task 
of rescuing from inveterate prejudice the 
doctrines, discipline, and worship of the 
Church,^ and of reviving among the people 

^" A picture of the forlorn condition of the Church in 
Virginia "svill be found in the Life of Bishop Moore, a 
former volume of this series. 

5* 



54: LIFE OF BISHOP RAYEXSCEOFT. 



tliat regard for it to whicli it was truly entitled, 
I commenced my ministerial labors, as the 
only real business I now had in life, relying 
on God's mercy and goodness, through the 
Lord Jesus Christ, for fruit to His praise." 

TVe have had occasion to notice before the 
very decided views which Mr. Ravenscroft 
held with reference to the claims of the 
Church, at whose altars he was now com- 
missioned to act as a minister. 

ISTo one could doubt his perfect sincerity, 
and those who differed from him as to the 
propriety of bringing forward such subjects 
so often in the pulpit, were obliged to honor 
him for his masterly abilities, his glowing 
zeal, and his uncompromising consistency. 

When he began his labors as a lay-reader, 
the Prayer Book was almost unknown in the 
neighborhood where he officiated ; but iu 
tlie course of fifteen months afterwards he 
had a large and attentive congregation, and 
a commodious church was built. 



PECULIAR MANNER. 55 



"To some, liowever, his preaching was 
rery oftensive, and brought upon him that 
reproacli to Avliich the faithful minister of 
Christ has been liable in every peri(xl of the 
world. 

'*To the rich and worldly-minded, espe- 
cially, to wdiom he had been so long allied in 
feeling and in practice, he now addressed his 
most heart-searching appeals, and familiar as 
he was with all their shifts and evasions, he 
exposed them to themselves with a fidelity 
and truth of coloring which they could not 
tolerate. Preaching of this kind, which 
they knew not how to resist, they affected to 
despise, and this faithful minister, though 
never deterred for a moment from revealing 
the whole of God's will, was much and often 
grieved at the deadness and coldness of this 
class of his hearers." 

Mr. Kavenscroft had a manner peculiar to 
himself, and the effect of some of his remarks, 
made upon the spur of the moment, wap 



56 LIFE OF BISHOP RAVEXSCROFT. 



actually startling. On a certain occasion, 
while reciting the Apostles' Creed, in the 
public service, finding himself almost alone, 
his voice being unsustained by the congrega- 
tion, he stoj)ped short and exclaimed, with 
emphatic earnestness, "Is it possible that I 
am the only person present who believes in 
God, the Father Almighty?" The rebuke 
was felt to be well-deserved, and at once, 
with united voice, priest and people began 
the simple formulary of the faith, " / believe 
in God^^ etc. l!^o further advice as to the 
duty of responding aloud was needed for a 
long time to come. 

Another characteristic anecdote is told of 
him, showing the spirit of self-sacrifice which 
distinguished the whole course of his min- 
istry. When the weather was so inclement 
that he would not permit the colored servant, 
who acted as sexton, to accompany him to 
church, he would take the keys and ride off 
five or ten miles by himself, without the 



MARK HIS TKACK IN THE SNOW. 57 



smallest expectation of finding one individual 
on the ground to attend service. And then 
he would deliberately ride around the church 
and leave his track in the snow, as a testi- 
mony against the fair-weather Christians 
whom the unpleasant day had kept at home. 

Some may consider this as an unnecessary 
exposure of his own health, but the reason 
which he gives is one w^hich has great 
weight. " If," remarked he, my people 
could say, with any sort of plausibility, the 
weatiier is bad to-day, and Mr. Eavenscroft 
will not turn out, the consequence would be 
that the slisrhtest inclemency would avail 
them as an excuse for staying at home ; but 
I put a stop to all such evasions, by being 
always at church, let the weather be what it 
may, and they can always calculate with 
certainty upon meeting me^ if they choose to 
turn out themselves." 

Such diligence and devotion were attended 
with their natural results. By the blessing 



58 LIFE OF BISHOP KAVENSCEOFT. 



of God, tlie seed scattered broadcast, and 
watered with fervent prayers, brought forth 
an abundant harvest. Bishop Moore re- 
marks, in his address to the Virginia Con- 
vention of 1818, " I consecrated a new church 
in Mecklenburg, erected by the parishioners 
of the Rev. Mr. Ravenscroft. In that place, 
in which the Church was thought to be ex- 
tinct, the friends of our communion have 
awakened from their slumbers ; aided by the 
exertions of their faithful and laborious min- 
ister, they have raised a temple sacred to 
the living God. May that Saviour whom 
they worship with so much ardor and sin- 
cerity of heart, accept their sacrifice and 
remember them for good." 

During the same Convention, Mr. Kavens- 
croft was elected one of the four clerical dele- 
gates to represent the diocese in the next 
General Convention. 

It must have been extremely gratifying to 
one who had so recently begun his labors, 



DR. 

to find tluat tliey were thus duly ap- 
preciated. 

Tlie late Dr. Wilmer, a most eminent cler- 
gyman of Virginia, thus writes to Mr. Rav- 
enscroft : '' The Lord of the vineyard seems 
to be granting you the rare favor, that as 
you have entered late into His service you 
should have the honor and reward of doing 
much in a short space ; while we who have 
been longer at the work hardly begin to 
enter upon the fruits, you at once seem to 
have reaped a glorious harvest. You get 
even more than your * penny.' "* 

^ I hope that my young readers will turn to the par- 
able here referred to, -which will be found in St. Matthew, 
XX. 1-16, and ask. their minister or some other person to 
explain it to them. There is no part of the Bible more 
generally misunderstood. 




dil]aptn StUnttI], 



SECOITD MARRIAGE — LOSSES AND CROSSES — DILIGENCE 

QnCKENED INFLUENCE AMONG HIS BRETHREN — IN- 

TITATIONS TO DIFFERENT PARISHES A CALL TO A 

STILL WIDER FIELD OP USEFULNESS HISTORY OF THE 

CHURCH IN NORTH CAROLINA FIRST SETTLEMENT BY 

THE ENGLISH TRIALS OF THE EARLY SETTLERS THE 

REV. JOHN BLAIR, MISSIONARY AND COMMISSARY HIS 

FIRST REPORT FELLOW-LABORERS-— REY. JOHN URM- 

STON HARDSHIPS RESULTS OF LABOR. 

^ the year 1818 Mr. Eavenscroft mar- 
ried the second tune. The lady thus 
chosen to aid and encourage him in 
his work was Miss Buford, of Lunen- 
burg County, the daughter of one of 
his oldest friends. 
During the winter following his marriage, 
he sustained a severe loss by fire, his dwell- 
ing-house and all it contained being burnt 




DiLlGEJrcE QtflC^ElfEt). ^1 



lip -while he was absent from home. Mis- 
fortune did not come in this shape only, for 
the value of liis estate was seriously impaired 
l)y reason of the withdrawal of his attention 
from worldly pursuits, and mistaken kindness 
in indorsinix for friends reduced him almost 
to poverty. 

Xone of these trials, however, stopped Mr. 
Havenscroft in his work. Indeed^ they seem- 
ed rather to quicken his diligence, by bring- 
ing before his mind more forcibly than ever 
the important truth, that the kingdom of God, 
and the righteousness thereof, are the only 
things which can endure. 

Besides the zeal and activity displayed in 
his own parish, his surpassing abilities and 
singleness of purpose gave him an unusual 
degree of influence in the councils of the 
Church and the societies under its control, 
and he did not hesitate to stimulate his 
brethren, by the most affectionate appeals, 
to constant diligence and faithfulness. 
6 



62 LIFE OF BISHOP RAVENSCHOFT. 



In 1823, lie was invited to take charge of 
a large and iioiirisliing congregation at Nor- 
folk. He would have consulted his worldly 
interests bj going, but having made up his 
mind never to abandon his own little flock, 
until Providence should seem plainly to 
direct him elsewhere, he promptly declined 
the call. Soon afterwards, he was applied to 
by the Yestry of the Monumental Church, 
Kichmond, to become the assistant to the 
venerable Bishop Moore, in the charge of 
that parish. 

Regarding the services of the Bishop, 
which were seriously interrupted by his ad- 
ditional labors in this congregation, as too 
important to the diocese to be lost through 
any impediment which his own private in- 
clinations might present, Mr. Eavenscroft 
was about to yield to what he could not help 
considering as an imperative case of duty, 
when another application, still more import- 
ant in its character, led him to turn his 



FIRST SETTLEMENT OF TIIE ENGLISH. 63 



tlioii gilts elsewliere, as the field where God 
was appointing him to labor. I refer to his 
election as Bishop for the diocese of Korth 
Carolina. 

And here, that justice may be done to the 
work which we have undertaken, it will be 
necessary to give our readei*s some informa- 
tion concerning the new diocese which was 
thus seeking to supply itself with an Epis- 
copal head. 

The first Englishmen who discovered and 
took possession of the Province of Carolina 
were Amadas and Barlowe, who came out 
to America under the direction of Sir Wal- 
ter Raleigh, in 15S4. 

France and Spain, at different periods, set 
np their respective claims to the same fair 
reo:ion of the earth. We have no room for 
telling the long story of the various mis- 
understandings and quarrels between these 
three rival nations.* 

« A well-digested account of the early history of Car- 



64 LIFE OF BISHOP RAYENSCROFT. 



Parties of emigrants from Yirginia, and 
some from the more northern region of Mas- 
sachusetts, came to Carolina in search of new 
homes. The charter granted by Charles 11. 
to the colonists unfolded a grand and im- 
posing scheme for the establishment of an 
empire in the Western World, and for the 
spread of the Gospel of Christ. , 

]S"orth Carolina proper embraced a district 
four hundred and thirty miles long, and 
about one hundred and eighteen in breadth, 
and containing an area equal to that of all 
England. So lately as the year 1702, the 
population of European descent did not 
exceed six thousand. The settlers lived 
widely apart, scattered over the lace of a 
country intersected by swamj^s and inlets 
of the sea. Roads, properly so called, there 
were none; and those who journeyed from 
one part of the Province to another, made 

olina will be found in Anderson's Ilistorj of the Colonial 
Church, Vol. II., p> 307, etc. 



HIS FIKST KEPOKT. 



tlieir way, as best they might, over rivers 
and through tangled forests, glad to take 
refuge at night in the rudest hut, or inider 
tlie shelter of overhanoincy trees. 

Foremost among the devoted ministers of 
Christ who came, at that early day, to bring 
the knowledge of salvation to this far-oft' 
land, was the Rev. John Blair. Landing in 
Virginia, in January, 1704, he made his way 
on horseback to Carolina, of which Province 
he had been apj^ointed Commissary by the 
Bisho]) of London.* At this time there 
were three small churches in the Colony, 
with glebes belonging to them. 

^' I found (he says) in the country a great 
many children to be baptized, where I hap- 
tized about a hundred, and there are a great 
many still to be baptized whose parents 
w^ould not condescend to have them bap- 
tized with godfathers and godmothers. I 

^ The office of Commissary is explained in the Life of 
Bishop Dehon. 

6* 



6Q LIFE OF BISHOP RAVENSCROFT. 



married none in the country, for tliat was a 
perquisite belonging to the magistrates which 
I was not desirous to deprive them of. 1 
preached twice every Sunday, and often on 
the week-days, when their vestries met, or 
could appoint them to bring their children to 
be baptized. 

"Besides such a solitary, toilsome, and 
hard living as I met with, there were very 
sufficient discouragements. I was distant 
from any minister one liundred and twenty 
miles, so that if any difficulty or doubt should 
happen, with whom should I consult ? And, 
for my travelling through the country, I rode, 
one day with another, Sunday only excepted, 
above thirty miles per diem, in the worst 
roads that ever I saw, and have sometimes 
lain whole ni2:hts in the woods.""^ 

Mr. Blair's fellow-laborers, sent out by the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, in 

" The whole report will be found in Vol. I. of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Historical Society, p. 181. 



HARDSHIPS. 67 



1707, and the few next years, were Adams, 
Gordon, Urraston, Kainsford, Newnan, Gar- 
zia, and Moir — some of whom, worn ont by 
the hardships which poverty and fiitigne and 
the inditi'erence or liostility of iha people 
brought upon them, returned soon afterwards 
to Enghmd. 

Tlie Eev. John Urmston, writing home, 
July, 1711, says, "I am at last, together 
with my family, in manifest danger of per- 
ishinor for want of food. We have lived 
many a day only on a dry crust and a 
drauorht of salt Avater out of the Sound." 

Again, speaking of the difficulty of reach- 
ing the different parts of his mission, he re- 
marks : " In many places there are great 
rivers, from one, two, to six, twelve, and fif- 
teen miles over, no ferry, neither will the 
people be at the trouble of setting me over. 

'^ He that will answer the end of his mis- 
sion must not only have a good horse but a 
good boat, and a couple of experienced 



6S LIFE OF BISHOP EATENSCEOFT, 



watermen. I am forced to work hard witli 
axe, hoe, and spade. I have not a stick to 
burn for any use but what I cut down with 
my own hands." 

But in spite of all these difficulties the 
missionary persevered, and as a part of the 
fruits of his labors, he reports the baptism of 
a hundred and fifty-four childi-en* 




Cljiiptcr (!5igtTt|[. 

THE REV. MR. RAINSFOKD SERVICE UNDER THE MULBEE- 

EY-TEEE — BAPTISM OF NEGROES LODGING IN THE OLD 

TOBACCO BARN INDIAN WARS — WEARIED AND WORN 

OUT FRESC LABORERS IN THE FIELD — EEV. THOMAS 

NEWNAN — A LARGE PARISH HOW THE SUNDAYS WERE 

DIVIDED OVER-EXERTION AND EXPOSURE DO THEIR 

WORK STILL ANOTHER MISSIONARY LABORING YET 

MORE ABUNDANTLY DEVOTED LAYMEN DESIRE FOE 

BISHOPS. 

^^,^^HE Eev. Giles Rainsford, who came 
^}H Pi'^ ^^ Carolina about the same time with 
Mr. Urmston, had the same difficul- 
ties to contend witli, but was not 
unrewarded with some tokens of suc- 
cess. 

At the first service which he held, many- 
persons were present who had hitherto been 
perfect strangers to the worship of the 




TO LIFE OF BISHOP ItAVENSCEOFT. 



Church. His regular station was Chowan, 
but he extended his laboi*s to many other 
points. At an old Indian town on the north 
shore, great crowds attended, and he baptized 
seventeen children. The next week he of- 
ficiated at the house of a Mr. Garrat, at the 
upper end of Chowan, where such numbers 
turned out to hear him, that he took his sta- 
tion under a large mulberry-tree, ^nd preach- 
ed to them out of doors. The missionary 
was gratified by the devout behavior of the 
people, and by the heai'tiness with which 
they united in the responses and singing. 

" By much importunity," he says, ^' I pre- 
vailed on Mr. Martin to let me baptize three 
of his negroes. All the arguments I could 
make use of would scarce effect it, till Bishop 
Fleetwood's sermon, preached before the So- 
ciety, turned the scale." 

Having once made a beginning, Mr. 
Bainsford persevered in his efforts for the 
benefit of tlie colored people^ and in one 



INDIAN WARS. 



71 



year he baptized no less than forty of 
them. 

The accommodations for a clergyman's 
comfort were poor indeed. Speaking on this 
subject, he remarks : " My lodging, for the 
best of my time, was in an old tobacco-hour^e, 
and exposed, even in my bed, to the injuries 
and violence of bad weather, with other in- 
conveniences, only to settle myself where I 
thought I had an opportunity of doing most 
good." 

The laboi-s of Mr. Urmston and Mr. Eains- 
ford were seriously interrupted by the Indian 
wars, which, for a season, seemed to threaten 
the total ruin of the colony. Had it not 
been for the timely assistance rendered by 
the settlers of the neighboring province of 
South Carolina, there seems every reason to 
believe that the cunning devices of the 
enemy would have been successful. 

The two missionaries whose course we 
have thus far pursued, finally became com- 



72 LtFE OF BISHOP EAVENSCEOFT^ 



pletely worn out and discouraged, and re- 
turned to England. 

The Eev. William Gordon and the Rev, 
James Adams came together as missionaries 
to ^orth Carolina, in ITOT, and after experi- 
encing hardships and ^^rivations like those 
already described, the former went back 
home at the close of a year, and the latter 
died as he was preparing to follow him. 

Towards the close of 1821^ the Rev, 
Thomas JS'ewnan was sent as a missionary 
to the j^rovince. His first rej)ort to tlie So- 
ciety, dated June, 1822, contains this inter- 
esting statement of his labors : 

''After a long and fatiguing voyage of 
above four months, myself and little family 
arrived at Carolina. Tlie late Governor 
Eden being dead, I waited upon the Presi- 
dent, a worthy gentleman, delivered him my 
credentials, with which he declared himself 
satisfied, and received me with great kind- 
nm&j a?^r.r,espej3t}..^,J l^p£e^,j[^g^^ll do a great 



HOW THE SUNDAYS WERE DIVIDED. iO 

deal of good. The Yestry have laid out my 
journeys where I am to officiate. The first 
Sunday I go by water, and some few miles 
by land, and preach at Esquire Ducking- 
field's House (which is large enough to hold 
a good congregation), till such time as they 
can build a church. The second Sunday I 
take a journey up to a place called Maharim, 
about forty miles off, where there are abun- 
dance of inhabitants, who are also making a 
collection to build a church forthwith. The 
third Sunday I perform Divine Service at 
Esquire Duckingfield's. The fourth Sunday 
I go up to a place called Wicacon, about 
thirty miles' journey. The fifth Sunday I 
cross the Sound to go to Eden Town, where 
the Yestry have also proposed to build a 
church very soon. The. sixth Sunday I go 
up to a chapel on the south shore, about 
twelve miles by water, and the seventh Sun- 
day begin the same course again. But once 
every quarter I go up to a place called 
7 



74: LIFE OF BISHOP EAVENSCEOFT. 



Renoque — eighty miles' journey — and the 
^ve last Sundays of the year the Yestry 
allow I may go my rounds, and visit the re- 
mote parts of the country, where some in- 
habitants live, one hundred and fifty miles 
off — people who will scarce ever have the 
opportunity of hearing me, or of having their 
children baptized, unless I go among them."* 
Surely this was a pretty extensive field to be 
cultivated by one single-handed laborer. 

Mr. ^Newnan proved himself to be a work- 
man who needed not to be ashamed, for God 
rewarded him with good success ; but his 
severe exertions, and exposure in all kinds 
of weather, brought on severe illness, under 
which he sunk, in 1723, much to the grief 
of his people. 

In 1732, Mr. John Boyd, who had lived 
some years in Carolina, went to England, 
and having received ordination at the hands 

« Humphrey's History of the Propagation Society, 
Chapter V. 



A LARGE PARISH. 75 



of the Bisliop of London, returned at once as 
a missionary to the province. His parish, 
Albemarle County, was one hundred miles 
in length and fifty in breadth, and he 
preached in seven different places, thus 
obliging him to ride two hundred and sixty 
miles every month. " This will convey some 
idea of the painful destitution of the means 
of grace in which a great part of the settlers 
must have lived. The duty of many clergy- 
men was laid upon one, who was, of course, 
unable to meet the requirements of so exten- 
sive a district. Even one, however, could do 
something, and was at least a witness to the 
colonists that they were not altogether for- 
gotten by the mother clmrch. In 1735, he 
had baptized one thousand children and 
thirty adults." ^ He was also the means of 
bringing back great numbers into the "old 
paths" of the Church, who had been drawn 

° Hawkins' History of Missions of the English Church, 
p. 77. 



76 I^IFE OF BISHOP RAYENSCKOFT. 

off by teachers of various persuasions around 
them. Mr. Boyd ended his earthly toils in 
1738. We have spoken thus fer of the 
efforts of the clergy in advancing the inter- 
ests of the Gospel; but many of the laity 
were scarcely less earnest and devoted. 
Colonel Eden, governor of the colony, proved 
himself to be the warm friend of the Church. 
Arthur Dobbs, Esq., who held the same office 
afterwards, was equally zealous, and warmly 
seconded the efforts which were made to 
induce the English Goverment to send out 
Bishoj^s to America. 




Cl]itgtor ^intlr. 



A -WELL-TRIED LAYMAX TURXIXG MISSIOXART A HUN- 
DEED BAPTISMS A DAY — MR. GARZIA — THE FIFTY 

POUNDS PER ANNUM — SCANTY LIVING CLEMENT HALL 

WIDE FIELD OF LABOR, AND MUCH ACCOMPLISHED IN 

IT HARD TOIL RESTING FROM HIS LABORS SIX CLER- 
GYMEN IN THE PROVINCE AMERICAN EEYOLUTIOX 

DARK AND DISMAL DAYS FOR THE CHURCH THE RALLY 

OF 1790 ANOTHER RELAPSE — THE DAY-STAR ARISES 

AT LAST. 



E cannot hope to do justice to the 
D labors of the faithful missionaries 
who gave their lives to the work 
of preaching the Gospel in Xorth 
Carolina, but we can at least pre- 
vent their names from beins: alto- 
gether forgotten. 

In 1739, Mr. James Moir, who had spent 
six years in South Carolina, where he had 




78 LIFE OF BISHOP EAVENSCEOFT. 



gained many friends, was ordained mission- 
ary for the northern province. His field of 
labor extended along the coast for a hundred 
and fifty miles, and the peoj)le were so scat- 
tered that the most he could hope to do was 
to visit them occasionally, for the purpose of 
preaching and administering the sacraments. 

On some of these journeys he baptized as 
many as a hundred children a day. 

Mr. Garzia, another missionary, states that 
during the period of five years (from 1733 to 
1738), while he served the j)arish of St. 
Thomas, he baptized two thousand two hun- 
dred and seventy-eight persons. 

The Society in England which sent out 
clergymen to the colonies, allowed each one 
fifty pounds (§250) a year towards his sup- 
port. For his main dependence, however, 
the clergyman was expected to look to the 
people for whose benefit he labored ; but this 
reliance was found to be most uncertain, and 
oftentimes failed him entirely. The settlers. 



CLEMENT HALL. Y9 

not always in very prosperous circumstances 
themselves, paid their ministers in rice, or in 
paper money, which was of little value, and 
not untrequently in empty promises alone. 

But this sad story is not a new or strange 
one. There are multitudes of God's chosen 
servants now laboring in His vineyard, whose 
bodily wants are as little cared for by those 
for whom they are wearing out their strength. 
AVe spoke, in the last chapter, of the case of 
Mr. Boyd, wdio, having lived as a layman for 
several years in the province, and witnessed 
the spiritual destitution of the inhabitants, 
devoted himself to the ministry. 

Another instance of the kind is now to be 
recorded. Clement Hall, who had officiated 
for some time as lay reader in congregations 
which could not secure the services of a cler- 
gyman, went to England, in IT-iS, with the 
highest testimonials, and, having received 
ordination, returned to jSTorth Carolina as a 
missionary. 



80 LIFE OF BISHOP RAYEXSCKOFT. 



Although he chiefly confined himself to 
Chowan County, he extended his labors, at 
regular periods, to several others. From one 
of his rejDorts it appears that, within the 
space of three weeks, he had preached six- 
teen times, and baptized twenty adults and 
four hundred children. "But the mere re- 
cital of numbers w^ould de&cribe very imper- 
fectly the amount of labor involved in such 
visitations. The distance and difficulties of 
the journeys which they required must also 
be taken into account ; and in the case of 
Mr. Hall, the difficulties became greater 
through his own weakness of health. 'No 
sooner did he end one visitation than he 
made prej^aration for another; and, except 
when sickness laid him prostrate, his work 
ceased not for a single day. In the face of 
much opposition and discouragement, he still 
pressed onward, and, in many places, was 
cheered by the eager sympathy of the 
people. The chapels and court-houses were 



HARD TOIL. 81 



seldom large enough to contain half the 
numbers who flocked together to hear him. 
Sometimes the place of their solemn meeting 
was beneath the shades of the forest ; at 
other times, by the river-side, or upon the 
sea-shore, the work of truth and holiness was 
permitted to ' have free course and be glori- 
fied.' A summary of the labors of Clement 
Hall, made about eight years after he had 
entered upon them, shows that, at that time 
(1752), he had journeyed about 14,000 miles, 
preached nearly TOO sermons, baptized more 
than G,000 children and grown-up persons 
(among whom were several hundred negroes 
and Indians), administered the Loi'd's Suj^per 
frequently to as many as two or three hun- 
dred in a single journey, besides performing 
the countless other offices of visiting the sick, 
and of catechising the young, which he was 
everywhere careful to do." ^ All this, it 

o Anderson's History of the Colonial Church, HI., 
491-2. 



82 LIFE OF BISHOP KAVEXSCKOFT. 



must be remembered, was accomplished by 
one whose health was never robust, and who 
was oftentimes laid up by sickness. 

After sixteen years of hard toil, Mr. Hall 
closed his useful career in the bosom of an 
affectionate and grateful people. 

The fields were white for the harvest, but 
the laborers were altogether too few to per- 
form the necessary work. In 1764, Governor 
Dobbs reported that there were at that time 
only six clergymen to do duty in twenty-nine 
counties, or parishes, and very properly adds 
that such was likely to be the case where 
they had " no Bishops to visit the clergy, 
and to confirm and confer orders." 

Nothing out of the ordinary course of 
things occurred from this date until the 
period of the American Kevolution. The 
Church in !N"orth Carolina, weak as it was 
before, was reduced to a condition deplorable 
indeed, during the continuance of this mem- 
orable struggle for our national independ- 



TIIK RALLY OF 1790. 83 

ence. Only four of licr clergy remained 
steady at their posts, to discharge the duties 
of their holy office. 

At the close of the war, the Episcopal 
Church in North Carolina was brought down 
to almost as hopeless a state as even her 
worst enemies could desire. And so things 
continued until 1790, when an abortive at- 
tempt was made by her few remaining chil- 
dren to revive their drooping spirits. In 
that year a Convention was appointed to 
meet at Tarborough, which accordingly as- 
sembled on the 12th of :N'ovember. Dele- 
gates were appointed to attend the General 
Conven-ion, which was to be held in New 
York, in 1792. 

The Rev. James L. Wilson and Dr. John 
Leigh proceeded to New York at the time 
appointed ; but the voyage proved to be so 
unusually long, that the Convention had ad- 
journed before their arrival there. Twenty- 
three years passed away, and the fortunes of 



84: LIFE OF BISHOP EAVEKSCEOFT. 



the Churcli in Xortli Carolina were in no 
wise improved. From 1Y94 to 1817 all was 
dark and dreary, and no star appeared in 
any quarter of the horizon. 

"It was then," writes one who was him 
self an actor npon the stage, "it was then 
that the day-star from on high visited us in 
mercy ; when two heaven-sent heralds of the 
everlasting Gospel (the Rev. Adam Empie 
and the Rev. Bethel Judd) came to Wilming- 
ton and Fayetteville, and there laid the 
foundation of the restoration of the Episcopal 
Church and cause in I^orth Carolina." * 

" From a long and interesting letter of the Eev. Eobert 
J. Miller, published by Dr. Hawks in the Church Review, 
Vol. III., p. 309. In 1794 the Eev. Charles Pettigrew 
was elected Bishop of North Carolina, but was never con- 
secrated. Mr. Pettigrew considered the appointment as 
premature, and only consented to it to prevent an im- 
proper person from receiving this high and holy office. 






A FEW MOKE INTEKMEDIATE STEPS — COXTEXTIOIC AT 
NEWBERN IN 1817 — TUE SESSION IN THE TEAE FOL- 
LOWING AN OLD PAMPHLET CONVENTION AT FAY" 

ETTEVILLE — IMPORTANT PROCEEDINGS REPORT ON 

THE STATE OF THE CHURCH IN NORTH CAROLINA- 
BISHOP MOORe's FIRST VISITATION TO THE DIOCESE 

THE LABORS OF A TEAR — GOOD HOPES FOR TUE FUTURE. 



(VO)/t E are now drawing near tli 
-d'^IIj ^ when the subject of this 
l^i^l will appear before ns in 



E are now drawing near the period 

memoir 
appear belore ns in a new 
.VX^^5 and more important relation to the 
Q^ Church. But it Avill be necessary 
^ to notice two or three intermediate 
steps, which prepared the way for his re- 
moval to iS^orth Carolina. 

A Convention was held in N"ewbern, in 
June, 1817, attended by three clergymen and 
8 



86 LIFE OF BISHOP EAVE^^SCIlOFT. 



six or eiglit lay delegates, when a constitu- 
tion was adopted, and an address made to 
the friends of the Church throughout the 
State, proposing a second convention the fol- 
lowing year. This assembly was more nu- 
merously attended than the former, and the 
Church from that time began to rouse her- 
self from her death-like slumber. 

The writer has now before him the unpre- 
tending little pamphlet in which the proceed- 
ings of that important Convention are pre- 
served, " Printed [as the dingy title-page 
informs us] by William Ilollingshead for 
Thomas Loring. Wilmington, IST. C, 1818." 

The delegates met at Fayetteville on the 
second of April, and, after morning prayer 
by the Eev. John Avery, of St. Paul's 
Church, Edenton, and an approj)riate sermon 
from the Rev. Adam Emj^ie, the Holy Com- 
munion was celebrated. The Rev. Mr. Em- 
pie, Rector of St. James' Church, Wilming- 
ton, was then re elected Secretary, and the 



CONVENTION AT FAYETTEVILLE. 87 



Hev. Betliol Judd, Kector of the cliurch iu 
which the Convention met, was chosen Pres- 
ident. Be."?ides these clergymen, tlie Rev. 
Riclmrd S. Mason, of Christ's Church, Xew- 
bern, was present as a member of the body, 
and the Rev. John PhiUips, of Virginia, was 
admitted to an honorary seat. 

Seven hiy delegates attended the Conven- 
tion. In conformity with the appointment 
made at the former Convention, the Rev. 
Mr. Judd reported that Bishop Moore, of 
Virginia, consented to i^erform Episcopal 
offices in Xorth Carolina, and that he Avould 
be ready to visit the congregations of the 
diocese during the ensuing summer or autumn. 

The Committee on the State of the Church 
made the following statement in regard to 
its condition and prospects : — " In Novem- 
ber, 1816, the Rev. Bethel Judd, of the 
diocese of Connecticut, and the Rev. A. 
Empie, of the diocese of JN'ew York, being 
deprived of health, and advised to change 



88 LIFE OF BISHOP EAVEXSCEOFT.- 



their climate, met at Wilmington, and dur- 
ing the subsequent winter officiated in the 
church at that place. Previously to their 
arrival, there was no Episcopal clergyman 
in this State, and but one congregation 
in which the worship of our Church was 
performed. By their joint endeavors, how- 
ever, together with the aid of the pious 
and zealous members of the congregation 
at "Wilmington, under the blessing of God, 
piety and devout attention to religious ordi- 
nances rapidly increased. Since the first 
of the following May the charge of the 
congregation has devolved entirely u]3on its 
present Eector, the Kev. A. Empie, whose 
ministrations have been greatly blessed to 
his own comfort, to the satisfaction of his 
Christian friends, and, we trust, to the glory 
of God. 

"On the 1st of May, 1817, the Kev. B. 
Judd removed his station to the charge of a 
congregation, which, on the preceding Easter 



IMPORTANT rROCEEDINGS. 89 



Monday, luul by liini been organized in 
Favetteville. The zeal of that congregation 
— of Avhich young men form a principal 
part — lias been eminently evinced by their 
regular and devout attention to the worship 
of the Church, by their liberal contributions 
for the support of their minister, and by 
their donations and exertions for the erection 
of a chnrch, which will soon be completed, 
and which, when completed, will be equal, 
perhaps, in point of elegance, to any in the 
State. 

^' About the 1st of January, 1817, the 
Rev. Mr. Clay took charge of the chnrch at 
IS^ewbern, and by his assiduity and talents 
gave great hopes of extensive usefulness ; 
but circumstances inducing his removal to 
the diocese of Maryland, cast a gloom for a 
time over the prospects, and damped the 
zeal of the friends of Zion. A seasonable 
relief, however, is anticipated from the talents 
and zealous efforts of the Rev. Mr. Mason, 
8* 



90 LIFE OF BISHOP RAYENSCEOFT. 



wlio has recently- commenced liis labors in 
that congregation with everj prospect of suc- 
cess. The Rev. Mr, Averj, having for some 
time taught an academy, and performed the 
duties of lay-reader at Edenton, was ordained 
in October last, and now officiates as the 
minister of that congregation ; which, though 
not numerous, gives good evidence of its 
desire to promote religion, particularly by a 
very generous contribution for the support 
of missionaries in this State — an object in 
which all the friends of our Church should 
feel a deep interest, and to which we cherish 
the hope that they will be liberal to the 
utmost extent of their means." 

A great deal had certainly been accom- 
plished during the space of a single year, 
and much more yet remained to be done. 
The materials out of which the living temple 
was to be built up were ready at hand ; but 
more clergymen were needed to go on with 
the work. 



THE LxVBORS OF A YEAR. 91 



According to his promise, Bishop Moore 
made a visit to the parishes in Xorth Caro- 
lina, ill the autumn of 1818, and thus speaks 
of it in his address to the Virginia Conven- 
tion the next year. " The Church in iS'orth 
Carohna is rising in all the vigor of youth, 
A new ediiice has been lately erected in 
Fayetteville, an ornament to the town, and 
a credit to the exertions of its founders, 
which I consecrated to the service of Al- 
mighty God. I confirmed in that place 
sixty persons, and admitted the Eev. Mr. 
Shaw to the order of Deacons. Among the 
list of worthies who have exerted themselves 
in the building of the church in Fayetteville, 
I find the names of Cameron and Winslow, 
the sons of two of our deceased clergy. 
May the spirit of their fathers continue to 
animate their bosoms, and may the children 
of other ministers imitate their noble and 
laudable example ! 

" The Church in Wilmington is also in a 



92 



LIFE OF BISHOP K.VVENSCEOFT. 



prosperous condition. I preached in that 
phace to pious, crowded auditories, and con- 
iirmed one hundred and thirtj-three persons. 
Newbern is also rising in importance. The 
cono:re2:ation have determined to erect a new 
church, upon the j)lan of that in Fajetteville. 
I preached at Kewhern five times in three 
days, confirmed fifty-two persons, and ad- 
ministered the Lord's Supper to a large body 
of pious communicants. I visited Washing- 
ton, Greenville, and Tarborough, and preach- 
ed several times in each place." 




(blr^ttx 61eijcnt!r. 

BISHOP MOORE VISITS NORTH CAROLINA AGAIN — REPORT 

OF HIS LABORS THERE IMPORTANT STEP IN 1823 

MR. RAVENSCROFT CHOSEN BISHOP OF NORTH CAROLINA 

QUALIFICATIONS FOR THIS POSITION CONSECRATION 

ENTERS INTO THE HARVEST — SETTLEMENT OF FIRST 

PRINCIPLES — SERMON AT THE PRIMARY CONVENTION 

ENERGY IN PREACHING ANECDOTE KNOWLEDGE OF 

HUMAN NATURE — THE STAGE-COACH DISCUSSION ABOUT 
RACE- HORSES, AND WHAT GREW OUT OF IT. 



^^^HE next year (1819) good Bishop 
l/^rn ]\Xoore, besides attending faithfully 
to his own duties in Virginia, made 
another visitation to Xorth Carolina. 
On this occasion he presided at the 
Convention of this young and prom- 
ising diocese. 

" Li Edenton [lie remarks], at whicli 
place the Convention convened, our sittings 




94: LIFE OF BISHOP Ex\.YEXSCKOFT. 



were attended by great numbers of people, 
some of wliom had come from a distance of 
fifty miles, to witness our proceedings and 
attend upon our ministry. In that place I 
ordained two Deacons, and admitted one 
gentleman to the Priesthood. In that dio- 
cese, so late as the year 1817, there was not 
a single clergyman ; they are now blessed 
with the labors of seven faithful men, and 
in the course of another year several candi- 
dates wlio are now prej^aring for holy orders, 
will be admitted to the ministry of the 
Word."' 

The venerable Bishop of Yirginia con- 
tinued his patriarchal su23ervision of the 
Church in Xorth Carolina until the year 
1823, when the Convention, which assembled 
at Salisbury, elected the Eev. John S. Ra- 
venscrofr, by a unanimous vote, to the office 
of Bishop. J^ever was a person taken more 
completely by surprise. Mr. Ravenscroft 
was a stranger to almost every individual in 



QUALIFICATIONS FOR THIS POSITION. 95 

the Convention ; but his good name had 
gone abroad, and in calling upon him to 
accept this most important office, the Church- 
men of North Carolina were well assured 
that their confidence was reposed on one 
who would never disappoint their hopes. 

A zealous and devoted servant of Christ — 
a man disinterested to a iault, and possess- 
ing rare qualifications for usefulness as a 
preacher and pastor— it was believed that 
the uncompromising firmness with which 
he held fast to the Gospel in the Church, 
would keep the children of Zion steadfast 
in the faith, and draw back many into the 
right way, who had thus far been wandering 
abroad. 

Mr. Ravenscroft could not but think that 
a call so unexpected and unsought for must, 
indeed, be considered as a voice from God, 
and he did not dare to decline the position 
of labor and trial which thus presented it- 
self before him. Relying, therefore, on the 



96 LWE OP BISHOP KArENSCEOF'T. 



help of God, lie signified liis readiness to 
accept the appointment, and he was accord- 
ingly consecrated Bishop of Xorth Carolina, 
during the session of the General Conven- 
tion at Philadelphia, on Thursday, May 22d, 
1823. 

The service was held in St. Paul's Church, 
the venerable Bishop White presiding, and 
Bishops Griswold, Kemp, Croes, Bowen, and 
Brownell being present and assisting. 

As the Church in North Carolina was still 
in its infancy, it was necessary for the 
Bishop to assume the charge of a j)arish, in 
addition to his Episcopal duties, in order to 
secure a support. Immediately after his con- 
secration, Bishop Pavenscroft hastened to 
Paleigh, and began his labors as Pector of 
the church there, and within a month from 
the adjournment of the General Convention 
he had entered upon his first visitation to 
the several parishes of his diocese. One of 
his first eflforts was to impress upon his 



clergy and people a proper estimation of 
Baptism and Conlinnation ; and in order to 
this, lie preached often and earnestly on these 
important snbjects, and tanght from lionse to 
honse, as he journeyed through the State* 
At the opening of the primary Convention 
of the Diocese, the Bishop delivered an able 
sermon, setting forth in plain terms his views 
in regard to the Church, and the most effect- 
ual means of promoting its growth and 
prosperity, and communicating the details 
of the course which he should feel bound to 
pursue. 

N"o one -svho ever listened to the glowing 
tvords of Bishop Eavenscroft, while standing 
in the pulpit and addressing his fellow-men, 
as the ambassador whom God had appointed, 
could doubt for a moment his thorough sin- 
cerity, and his anxious desire to do the will 
of Him that sent him. 

"I remember well his intense energy in 
preaching," remarks Bishop Whittingham, in 
9 



98 LIFE OF BISHOP RAVENSCROFT. 



a letter to the writer of this memoir, " and 
how, on one occasion, in Philadelphia, his 
entire possession of his w^ork was shown in 
the fact that, the fastening of his cravat 
having given way in preaching, he went on 
uninterruptedly, and with undiminished earn- 
estness of delivery, while with one hand he 
deliberately relieved his neck of the entangle- 
ment of the offending garment, and laid it 
down behind him. This I saw, and well 
remember how it rather increased than in 
any way detracted from the effect of his 
energetic eloquence." 

The training which the Bishop had gone 
through with in former days, and his ac- 
quaintance with human nature, enabled him 
to do a work for the Church in JSTorth Caro- 
lina, which some cloistered student, rich in 
stores of Greek and Hebrew, would have 
been nnable to accomplish. As an illustra- 
tion of what we mean, a well-anthenticated 
anecdote is introduced. The Bishop was 



DISCUSSION ABOUT RACE-HORSES. 99 



once riding in a stage-coach, tlirough his ex- 
tensive diocese, with a company of Southern 
planters, all strangers to himself, when the 
conversation turned upon the subject of 
race-horses ! As the discussion waxed warm, 
and the passengers took different sides, an 
old gentleman, wdio was one of the cham- 
pions, appealed to the Bishop to sustain the 
opinions he had expressed, not at all suspect- 
ing that he was addressing a dignitary of the 
Church. 

Bishop Ravenscroft happened, at an ear- 
lier period of his life, to have been thor- 
oughly versed in matters of the sort ; and, 
when thus unexpectedly called upon, ho 
came to the assistance of the perplexed con- 
troversialist with a hearty good-will. 

As usual with him, he carried the day. 
Some time after, the old gentleman discov- 
ered who his valuable ally was ; and, in 
speaking of him to a friend, in the highest 
terras of admiration, he added, as a climax 



100 LIFE OF BISHOP EAVENSCKOFT. 



to liis praises, " Why^ he hiows all about race- 
horses /" 

Learning, about this time, that the Bishop 
was endeavoring to build a church in some 
desolate place, he sent him a generous con- 
tribution towards the object. 




€]mtn ®i\jclftt 



SEVERE LABOE — THE PENALTY OF OVER-EXERTION — OCCU- 
PATION OF A SICK CHAMBER — CONTROVERSY DIVI- 
SIONS AMONG CHRISTIANS DEPLORED TWO MODES OF 

DOING CHURCH TTORK: BOTH GOOD IN THEIR WAY 

THE COURSE WHICH NECESSITY URGED UPON BISHOP 

RAVENSCROFT LETTER TO BISHOP IIOBART — FAINT, 

YET PURSUING — HUMBLENESS OF A GREAT MIND. 

ISHOP EAYEXSCEOFT had 
''' thrown his whole soul into the work 
::^Q) from the first day of his ordination 
'-^J'lS ^^ ^li® ministry ; but now that he 
was not only the Rector of a parish, 
but the chief shepherd of a whole 
diocese, every energy of body and mind was 
taxed to the utmost, in the discharge of the 
duties of his high calling. 
9* 




102 LIFE OF BISHOP JRAVENSCKOFT. 



The farthest western congregation was 
more than three hundred miles distant from 
the most eastern one ; and jet, even after 
disease had laid its firm grasp npon him, 
constantly reminding him of the uncertainty 
of life, he punctually made his annual visits 
to both. 

A younger man might, perhaps, have 
undergone the fatigue and exposure of these 
long journeys with less difficulty, but cer- 
tainly no hero ever faced difficulties and 
dangers with a bolder front than did the 
venerable Bishop of ]^orth Carolina. 

Hardships and anxieties of mind, however, 
soon left their mark upon his once vigorous 
constitution, and during the whole of the 
second winter after his removal to the dio- 
cese he was confined to the house by illness. 
But even the sicl^ chamber was no place of 
idleness and repose. 

Just before his first illness he had been 
invited to preach before the Bible Society at 



CONTROVERSY. 103 



its annual meeting, in December, at the city 
of Ealeigli, althougli he had openly ex- 
pressed his disapprobation of one feature in 
the constitution of the Society. Availing 
himself of the occasion, he explained his ob- 
jections, and gave in general his views of 
the proper principle upon which Bible so- 
cieties should be founded to be most efficient 
in their operations. 

This sermon having been published, elicit- 
ed veiy severe animadversions from various 
quartei-s, and eventually attracted the notice 
of a celebrated professor of theology in Vir- 
ginia. That gentleman, in his strictures 
upon the sermon, and the publications aris- 
ing out of it, having assailed the Church of 
which Bishop Ravenscroft was a member 
and a minister, the Bishop felt himself im- 
periously called upon to st^nd forth to vindi- 
cate it from his aspersions. 

Though worn by severe and protracted ill- 
ness, the result of his labors was a masterly 



104 LUE OF BISHOP EAYEJ^SCEOFT, 



and triumphant vindication of the doctrines 
of the Church."^ ■ 

However mucli all good people must de- 
plore the divisions which mar the face of 
the Christian w^orld, it is certainly the bonn- 
den duty of those w^hom God has called to 
watch over the affairs of His Church, to be 
ready, on all suitable occasions, to give a 
reason for the hope that is in them. 

To Bishop Ravenscroft was committed the 
arduous undertaking of setting in order the 
affairs of a new diocese, w^hich had its begin- 
ning in the midst of those who were bitterly 
opposed to the Church, and a man with a 
spirit less bold and determined might have 
been cowed into silence, or induced to con- 
ceal the more unpopular features of religion. 
But he had not so learned his duty. Cost 
what it might, he was ready to live and die 
by principles w^hich he believed to be found- 
ed in truth. 

« Bishop Ravenscroft's Works, Vol. I., 42, 43. 



•BOTH GOOD IN THEIR WAY. 105 

There will always be a difference of opinion 
among good men as to the best mode of ex- 
tending the Church. Some seek to win 
their way (j^uietlr and almost imperceptiblj, 
attaching the people to them by their taith- 
fulncss in preaching the Gospel and by their 
diligence as pastors, leaving the peculiarities 
of the Chure'.i to come afterwards; while 
they who are no less zealous in the discharge 
of these duties, will feel it incumbent on 
them not only to bring forward the truths of 
religion, which are held in common by all 
true believers, but also to follow the example 
of St. Paul, and " Speak concerning Christ 
and the ChurchP 

There can be no question that both of 
these modes of oi>eration have their peculiar 
advantages, and while one may succeed best 
under certain circumstances, the other would 
be found most effectual among a different 
class of people, with inquiring minds, and 
witb the means of investigation within their 



106 LIFE OF BISHOP RATENSOROFT. 



reach. Bishop Griswold and Bishop Moore 
may be mentioned as examples of those who 
acted uj^on the first of the principles, and 
Bishop Hobai-t and Bi&hop Ravenscroft of 
those who pursued the latter course. 

Were not all of these men devotedly at- 
tached to tlie same branch of Christ's holy 
Church? Did they not all labor with the 
same spirit of self-sacrifice and devotion to 
advance its interests ? No one can deny it. 
Does not this show us that God works by dif- 
ferent instrumentalities^ and in various waySy 
for tlie accomplishment of the same great 
end ? And ought not such considerations to 
pour oil upon the troubled waters,, and keep 
the whole Church in peace ? 

In the last paragraph I have coupled to- 
gether the names of Hob art and Ravens- 
croft. This seems a favorable opening for 
introducing a letter from the Bishoj) of North 
Carolina to his Right Reverend brother of 
Kew York, upon his return to America, aftei 



LETTER TO BISHOP IfOBART. 107 



a visit to Europe for the benefit of liis 
health: 

Raleigh, March 18, 182G. 

Right Rev. and dear Sir — It was my 
anxiety not to appear indifferent to the 
happy event of your restoration to health, to 
your family, and to the Church, through the 
miscarriage of a letter (which is a very com- 
mon thing), that prompted me to write the 
second time. I well knew that you could 
have time for nothing but to meet and 
answer the congratulations of your numerous 
friends. 

I thank you very gratefully for the favor- 
able opinion you are pleased to entertain 
and express of my principles and conduct. 

The situation of this southern country, 
surrendered for the last forty or fifty years to 
the exclusive influence of the dissenters, left 
me no alternative but to increase that influ- 
ence by adopting half-way measures, or, by 
a decided course, to call into action what 



108 LIFE OF BISHOP EAVEKSOECRBI^ 



was left of predilection for the Cliureliy to> 
rally lier real friends around her standard^ 
and to strike fear into her enemies hj the 
unqualified assertion of her distinctive char- 
acter y and I have cause of thankfulness be^ 
yond expression^ that it has pleased God to 
give success so far to the little I have been 
enabled to do. Multitudes have owned to 
Hie, that but for the imperious call upon 
their most serious consideration, occasioned 
by the announcement of the doctrines of 
the Church, they might have gone dream- 
ing through life, without once realizing 
their practical use to the assurance of 
faith. 

Our progress is comj)aratively slow in 
organizing new congregations. We want 
missionaries, and have funds to employ twOy 
but cannot obtain them ; yet my hope is 
strong— it is not my cause but the Lord's^ 
and His providence is so distinct in His over- 
ruling direction of events for the furtherance 



LETTER TO BISHOP IIOBART. 



109 



of that cause, that both my clergy and my- 
self arc _o*reatly encouraged. 

The habits and occupations of my best 
years were not favorable to the retaining, 
far less to the improvement, of a good educa- 
tion. Every hour I have cause to regret 
that improvidence which abandoned the 
continuation of mental improvement, and in 
a good degree threw away the fruits of 
care, and pains, and expense in my early 
education. 

But I foresaw not the use the Lord had 
for me. Wonderful it is that He should 
have sought me out, and what is left of me I 
wish to be all His. Eemember me in your 
prayers, help me with your counsel, reprove 
me where I am in error or wrong, and be- 
lieve me, very truly and affectionately, your 
friend and brother in the Lord, 

Jonx S. Eavexscroft.* 



« Beriian's Life of Bishop Hobart, Vol. I., p. oG-i. 
10 



110 LIFE OF BISHOP RAVENSCEOFT. 



Eeautiful example of humility in a great 
and noble mind ! Bishop Hobart was sev- 
eral years younger than the Bishop of JSTorth 
Carolina, yet the elder calls upon him for his 
counsels, his reproofs, and his prayers. 




BRETHREN DWELLING TOGETRER IN UNITY BISHOP 

MOORE's letter A VIRGINIA CONTENTION LOVE 

FOR THE CHURCH MEN OF PRAYER WRESTLINGS OF 

A DEVOUT SPIRIT — ENTERING INTO THE CLOSET — DE- 
LIGHT IN THE STUDY OF GOd's WORD — " WHAT COM- 
MENTATOR SHALL I CONSULT?" — TEACHINGS OF THE 
SPIRIT. 



HE letter given in the last chapter 
shows for itself the friendly relations 
which existed between Bishoj) Ea- 
venscroft and Bishop Hobart. As 
they sympathized so perfectly in 
their views of the Church, such an 
appearance of brotherly kindness will occa- 
sion no surprise. In order to sustain the 
position laid down before, that Churchmen of 
every grade, being left free to promote the 




112 LIFE OF BISHOP RAYEXSCEOFT. 



welfare of God's kingdom in the way wliicli 
seems to each the best calculated to secure 
this end, may live on the closest terms of 
intimacy with one another, I shall introduce 
a letter from the venerable Bishop of Yir- 
ginia, written less than two years before 
Bishop Ravenscroft's decease. 

EiCHMOXD, Ya., 3Iarch 19^A, 1828. 

Right Rev. and deae Sir — The last meet- 
ing of our Convention in Fredericksburg was 
one of the most interesting that I have ever 
witnessed. It was thought that there were 
at least twelve hundred visitors in that place 
on that occasion, and those visitors people of 
the first distinction in our country. 

I look forward to our contemplated meet- 
ing in Petersburg with hope ; and should it 
please God to bless us with such a sense of 
His presence as was enjoyed in Fredericks- 
burg, it will meet the most sincere expression 
of gratitude. It would afford me the great- 



BISHOP moore's letter. 113 



est satisfaction, could you make it convenient 
to visit Tetersburg at that time ; and I have 
no doubt all your old friends would be 
pleased to see you also. You once delighted 
to be with us, and it is my belief you would 
be delighted again ; for if I know you, and I 
think I do, you are not adverse to the most 
ardent expression of devotion. I am now an 
old man, and cannot be far distant from that 
country to which we are all hastening ; and 
as I believe we shall experience no coldness 
in heaven, I do not see why the Church be- 
low should not taste a little of that joy of 
which we hope to partake in another and a 
better world. You must perceive that I am 
now addressing you as I formerly did, when 
you resided in Virginia; and should the 
.friendly expression I use touch that chord of 
affection which used to beat in perfect unison, 
with my own feelings, you will not be- 
offended with me. I love order— I love the 
Liturgy of the Church with all the powers. 
10* 



114 LIFE OF BISHOP EAYENSCEOFT. 



of my heart, but am of opinion that our 
services, instead of producing formality, are 
calculated to make us feel, and rejoice, and 
give thanks. 

Your affectionate friend and brother, 

RiCHAKD Chaining Mooke.* 

Little did the venerable writer of this let- 
ter (then in his sixty-sixth year) suppose that 
he should be living and laboring on the 
earth for more than eleven years after his 
brother Bishop, who was ten years younger 
than himself, had gone to that better country 
of which he so touchingly speaks ! Yet so it 
was ordered by Him who doeth all things well. 

However Bishop Moore and Bishop Ra- 
venscroft might differ in oj)inion as to the 
best mode of extending the Church among 
those who were ignorant of her high and 
holy claims, it could not be said that the one 

- Henshaw's Life of Bishop Moore, p. 23-4. 



MEN OF TKAYER. 115 



went beyond the other in sincere attachment 
for her, since both spent their lives in her 
service, and both died while eno-aired in the 
field of duty. 

It is apparent, from tlie most cursory read- 
ing of the letter jnst qnoted, that the Bishop 
of Virginia was a man of prayer. The same 
was true of the Bishop of Xorth Carolina. 
" I cannot conclude these brief notices of my 
beloved diocesan," writes one who knew him 
most intimately for years, "without advert- 
ing to what I conceive was one of liis most 
distinguishing and lovely characteristics — I 
mean Ms devotion in private. On more 
than one occasion I have been unavoidably 
placed as an ear-witness of his moments of 
retired devotion — a devotion to which I am 
sure that he thought there were no witnesses 
but himself and his God. And it was at such 
times that I wished a censorious world could 
have stood in my place. I distinctly remem- 
ber the first time that I was so situated. 



116 LIFE OF BISHOP EAVEXSCKOFT. 



Such were the strong wrestlmgs and deep 
groanings of that man of God in prayer, that 
my first impulse was to fly to his assistance, 
fearing lest some sudden and violent pain 
had seized upon him ; but a moment's reflec- 
tion convinced me that it was not hodily 
anguish that wrung these complainings from 
him, hut an agony of spirit, which seemed 
driven for relief to these plaintive moanings. 
Oh, how hard would he seem to wrestle with 
his God! Every groan that burst from his 
laboring soul seemed to say, I will not let 
Thee go^ excejyt Thou hless me. Nor was his 
a short-lived or transitory devotion. Three 
times a day, like the prophet of old, did he 
kneel upon his knees, and, unless pressed by 
other duties, he continued in prayer for the 
sj)ace of half an hour. His usual custom 
was to go from the reading of God's Word to 
the seeking of His face in prayer. Indeed, I 
have never known a more diligent reader of 
the Bible. It was ever open on his desk, 



DELIGHT IX THE STUDY OF GOd's ^VOKD. 117 



and in the composition of liis sermons lie sel- 
d(^ni sought assistance "beyond its pages. 
Enter his study when you would, there was 
his Bible on one side of him, and his Con- 
cordance on the other. As a practical ex- 
2)0under of Scripture I have never known 
his equal. He left to others the applause of 
critical acumen and deep research, and 
sought rather to bring every passage of 
God's Word to bear npon the conscience of 
the sinner. And in these practical applica- 
tions of Scripture he was peculiarly solemn 
and interesting. "When in health, I have 
known liim, after preaching twice or thrice 
in the day, lecture at family prayers for 
thirty or forty minutes, upon, perhaps, the 
first chapter that met his eye on opening 
the Bible. And on these occasions it has 
often been thought by his friends that, in 
j^oint of force of manner and richness of 
thought, he even exceeded his more delib- 
erate pulpit exercises." 



118 



LIFE OF BISHOP KAYENSCKOFT. 



The study of the Scriptures was Bishop 
Eavenscroft's delight, and he would have all 
go to this fountain-head to drink in refresh- 
ment for their souls. When asked by the 
young and inexperienced, " What comment- 
ator shall I consult in reading my Bible ?" 



it on your knees, and the Spirit of truth will 
make all necessary things plain unto you." 



Chapter f awrtecntlr. 

A SUXDAY AMONG THE MORATIAX BRETHREX — EARLt 
SERVICE AT THE SCHOOL — WORSHIP IN THE CIIURCH 

INTRODUCTION TO BISHOP BENADE LOYE-FEAST 

FRIENDLY INTERVIEW LONGINGS AFTER UNITY— 

THE lord's supper — MODE OF ITS ADMINISTRATION 
— NIGHT SERVICE — PARTING WITH MUTUAL EXPRES* 

8I0NS OF REGARD A PETITION IN "WHICH ALL TRUE 

CHRISTIANS MUST HEARTILY UNITE. 

T would be comparatively easy to turn 
over Bishop Kavenscroft's reports to 
the Convention of ^orth Carolina, 
and inform our readers, in detail, as 
to the time of his visitations to the 
several parishes, and the number of 
persons confirmed in each ; but we jDrefer, in 
the small space allotted for this memoir, to 
bring forward such facts only as will be of 
interest to all. With this view, a somewhat 




120 LIFE OP BISHOP EAVENSCEOFT* 



extended extract will here be given, from the 
journal of one of his visitations to the west- 
ern j^art of the diocese ; 

" August 12, 1S27. —Sundai/.—l attended 
the services of the Moravian Brethren in this 
place [Salem], which commenced in the 
chapel of the female school at half-past eight 
in the morning, and was performed in En- 
glish, by singing accompanied with the 
organ, extempore prayer standing, and a 
short discourse from Revelation iii. 11. The 
school is very numerousj and great order and 
uniformity are maintained. At ten o'clock 
the services commenced in the church, by 
singing, accompanied with the organ and 
other instruments. The line is given out by 
the minister, and all sing sitting. After the 
singing) their Bishop, by name Benade, 
preached sitting, and with great fluency and 
force, though in the German language, and, 
therefore, not understood by me and the 
other visitors. 



LOVE-FEAST. 121 



" After the discourse, prayer was made, at 
which the congregation stood, after which 
they sung and were dismissed. After the 
services I was asked into the vestry-room, 
and introduced to the Bishop and one of his 
presbyters, but had no opportunity for con- 
versation beyond that of civility. It being a 
festival-day, commemorative of some remark- 
able event in their history, the Bishop's time 
was very limited* 

" At one o'clock their love-feast was held, 
to which I was invited and attended. At 
this there were no other services than the 
singing of a jubilee psalm in parts, by the 
choir and congregation, accompanied with 
the instrumental music, during which there 
was handed to every individual present a 
round cake or kind of light bun, and a half- 
pint mug of coftee, "which was partaken of 
by all during the singing, as each was dis- 
posed. 

"The parts performed by the choir were 
11 



122 LIFE OF BISHOP EATENSCEOFT. 



executed standing, in opposite galleries : the 
congregation sang sitting. At the close, all 
stood to sing the hallelujah. 

" After the love-feast, I had another inter- 
view with Bishop Benade in the vestry-room, 
wdien he informed me the Communion would 
be administered after an interval of about 
two hours— say half-past three o'clock — at 
which I could attend, either as a spectator or 
a communicant. To this I rej)lied, that 
though curiosity was in part the cause of my 
visit to Salem, yet it was not the sole cause, 
it being my real desire, as we were the only 
two Episcopal churches in America which 
could and would acknowledge each other 
[for the Komanists presented an insuperable 
bar], to know more of them, and let them 
know more of us. If, therefore, I was pre- 
sent, it would be as a communicant, and I 
must accordingly request information as to 
the mode of administering. This was im- 
mediately explained to me, and there being 



THE lord's supper. 123 



nothing, in my judgment, iinscriptural or 
inconsistent with the essentials of a sacra- 
ment, I conchuled to commune with them. 
At tlie appointed hour tlie Church [mean- 
ing thereby the communicants] assembled, 
amounting to upwards of two hundred per- 
sons, and at a signal given by the bell, the 
vestry-room door was opened, the organ 
began a solenm voluntary, and the Bishop, 
with the Priests and Deacon, walked up to 
the altar, carrying the bread in two baskets, 
covered with a white linen cloth, themselves 
habited in white surplices, bound round the 
loins with a broad girdle. Tlie wine was 
previously placed upon the altar in six de- 
canters, with glass mugs to distribute it. 
The altar was covered with white drapery, 
ornamented with festoons of artificial flowers. 
"On the Bishop's taking the chair, he 
gave out the line of a hymn, which was 
sung by the people to the organ. He then 
delivered a short exhortation, and proceeded 



124 LITE OF BISHOP RAVE2fSCE0FT. 



to the consecration of the elements, which 
was exactly similar to our own mode, in the 
recitation of Scripture, and the laying of his 
hand on the bread, and on the wine, pre- 
viously poured into the mugs. AYhen the 
consecration was finished, a Prie>t, attended 
by a Deacon bearing the bread on the right 
Bide of the altar, and another Priest, attended 
by a Deaconess with the bread on the left 
side thereof, proceeded to administer to the 
communicants in this wise. The bread was 
prepared very wliite and thin, unleavened, 
and in oblong shapes, sufficient for two j)or- 
tions. On coming to me, to whom it was 
first presented, the Deacon administered to 
two at a time, until the whole Church had 
received, each row of seats rising up to 
receive, and again sitting down holding the 
bread in their hands. When the communi- 
cants were all served, the baskets were re- 
turned to the altar, when the Bishop and 
clergy having taken the bread likewise, th^ 



NIGUT SERVICE. 125 



organ cea?ed, and all knelt down in silence 
and ate the bread. A due portion of time 
was appropriated to private devotion, and 
towards the close the organ struck a most 
solemn strain, to which the connnunicants all 
responded in a verse of a hymn sung upon 
their knees. 

"When this was finished, all rose up and 
the cup was then distributed, each drinking 
and handiug to his neighbor — the Deacon 
attending to replenish and to pass it from one 
row of seats to another. The ceremony was 
concluded with a hymn of praise, and dis- 
mission of the congregation — I presume with 
the apostolic benediction — and all I have to 
regret is, that I was a stranger to their 
language. 

" At half-past seven the services a^ain 
commenced, and were precisely similar to 
those in the forenoon. One of the Priests 
delivered the sermon, being the same whom 
I heard in the school chapel in the morning 
11" 



126 LIFE OF BISHOP KAYEXSCROFT. 



in English ; but in a very different style and 
manner of address and delivery in his native 
language. During this service Bishop Be- 
nade and myself sat together, and at tlie close 
we took leave of each other, I trust, with 
mutual Christian regard, and with the desire 
of a more close acquaintance." 

That Bishop Ravenscroft was sincerely de- 
sirous to see all branches of the Church of 
Christ living together in harmony and peace, 
may be gathered from this instance of his 
going out of his way to meet with the Mora- 
vian Brethren.* May God hasten the time 
when all the kingdoms of the work! shall 
become the kingdoms of our Lord Jesus 
Christ ! 

" "^ The origin of the Moravian Brethren is rather doubt- 
ful and obscure. Some account of this Society will be 
found in Hook's Church Dictionary. 



(Lbajtcr liftccntlr. 

tnE BISHOP LEAVES THE PARISH AT EALEIGH KEMOVAL 

TO AVILLIAMSBOROUGH LAST EARTHLY TIE BROKEN — 

THE CONVENTION OF 1829 RELEASES HIM FROM PARO- 
CHIAL CHARGE VISIT TO TENNESSEE AND KENTUCKY 

LABORS OF DR. CHAPMAN — KENTUCKY ORGANIZED A3 

A DIOCESE — BISHOP RAVENSCROFT AT LEXINGTON 

NINETY-ONE CONFIRMED INTERESTING PARTICULARS. 

IIE parish at Ealeigli, of wliicli 
Bishop Eavenscroft was Rector, had 
so increased in size and importance, 
that it required more active and nn- 
interruj^ted labor than his duties to 
the diocese at Large and his failing 
health would allow him to bestow, and ac- 
cordingly, early in the year 1828, he resigned 
this pastoral charge. 

The congregations of jS'ewbern and AVil- 
miuicton — both of which were strong and in- 




128 LIFE OF BISHOP EAYENSCEOFT. 

fluential — were anxious to secure him for 
tlieir pastor, although his time would be thus 
limited by other cares ; but he thought it 
best, on the whole, to settle in the village of 
Williamsborough, where the j)eople had 
nev^er eujoyed the privilege of regular ser- 
vices, and, on this account, would be less 
likely to receive injury from ministrations 
which must necessarily be of centimes inter- 
rupted. 

Soon after his removal to his new home, 
the Bisliop met with an irreparable loss in 
the death of his devoted wife, who was called 
away from earthly anxieties and cares, in 
January, 1829. 

It Avas a great source of comfort to her 
husband, that not a single cloud obscured 
the brightness of her heavenly prospect, and 
as he himself expressed it, in his strong and 
vigorous style, " there was not even a dis- 
torted feature in the agonies of death, to be- 
tray any quailing before the king of terrors." 



RELEASE FROM PAROCHIAL CHARGE. 120 



The last earthly bond which bound the 
good Bishop to this world was now severed 
forever. His own frail health rendered the 
loss of this gentle and sympathizing com- 
panion the more grievous, but it brought him 
nearer to the Saviour. 

The Convention of 1829, sensible of the 
increasing iniirmities of their chief pastor, 
resolved to release him entirely from the 
care of a parish. It is greatly to be regretted 
that this relief did not come sooner, for the 
visitation immediately preceding this session 
of the Convention was the last he was ever 
to make to the diocese, which owed so much 
to his faithful labors. 

Immediately after the adjournment of this 
body, the Bishop set out to fulfil a promise 
which he had made to visit the few churches 
of our communion scattered through Ten- 
nessee. While at Xashville, he received an 
urgent letter from the Rev. George T. Chap- 
man, the Rector of Christ Church, Lexing- 



130 LIFE OF BISHOP RAVENSCKOFT. 



ton, Kentucky, begging the favor of him to 
extend his journey to that place. 

Hitherto, the Episcopalians of Kentucky 
had never enjoyed the benefits of a visitation 
from a Bishop, and the state of slumber and 
inaction into which they had sunk seemed 
only the precursors of death. 

Dr. Cliapman, the distinguished author of 
"Sermons on the Church" — through whose 
agency the scattered sons of the Church were 
brought together — thus sj)eaks of his efforts 
in this noble cause : " In the spring of 1829, 
knowing that the General Convention was to 
meet that year in Philadelphia, in concert 
with some prominent members of my Church, 
I took measures to secure the organization 
of the State of Kentucky, as a diocese of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church. Having heard 
that a few Episcopalians were living at Dan- 
ville, I set off for that place on the ^ 30th of 
May, and having in a few days collected 
these persons together, my object in visiting 



LABORS OF DR. CHAPMAN. 131 



them was fully explained, and the result was 
a speedy organization of a church, and the 
appointment of delegates to attend the then 
proposed State Convention at Lexington, in 
July. From Danville I proceeded to Louis- 
ville, at that time destitute of a Eector, 
preached in the church in that city, June 7— 
stated m.y object to its members, in which 
they cordially concurred, and also appointed 
the desired delegates. Eeturning to Lexing- 
ton the same week, preparations Were made 
for the meetino; of the Convention.- It as- 



^ As the Journal of this primary Convention is now a 
rare document, the writer gives a few items from the 
copy in his possession. There were three clergymen pres- 
ent— viz., tlie Rev. George T. Chapman, D.D., Rector 
of Christ Church, Lexington ; the Rev. Benj. 0. Peers, 
Deacon, Principal of the Pestaloz2;i Academy, and the 
Rev. Jolm Ward, Principal of a Female Academy— all 
of the same city. The lay delegates represented three 
parishes, and their names were as follows. From Otrist 
Church, Louisville, Messrs. Richard P>arnes, John Bustard, 
and John P. Smith. From Trinity Church, Danville, Messrs. 
Daniel Barl)ee, Henry I. Cowan, Ephraim M-Dowell, 
M.D. ; Edward Worthington, and Frederick Yeiser 



132 LIFE OF BISHOP EAVlll^gCfiOFl'* 



seinbled in Christ Church, on AYednesdayj 
July 8, 1829. Divine service was celebrated 
and a sermon preached by me, being the 
only settled clergyman in the State. The 
organization of the Diocese was then happily 
effected, tliere being several lay delegates 
from the three parishes of Lexington^ Louis- 
ville, and Danville, and three of the clerical 
order from Lexington, when the Convention, 
after discharging its remaining duties, ad- 
journed. ''* 

Soon after this important step had been 
taken. Dr. Chapman learned from the papers 
that Bishop Ravenscroft was then on a visit 
to Kashville, and addressed him a letter, as 
has been already mentioned. 

He cheerfully acceded to the request 

From Christ Church, Lexington, Messrs^ Richard Asliton, 
John E. Cookj M.D. ; Anthony Dumesnil, Josiah Dun- 
ham, John W. Hunt, Charlton Hunt, William Morton, 
and Thomas Smith. 

« Spirit of Missions, Vol. XIII., No. 4. April, 1848, 
p. 97, 98. 



ivhich had been made, that he would come 
on to Kentucky, before returning home, and 
stated the pi'obable time when he might be 
expected at Lexington. Tlie prospect of a 
visit from this venerable servant of the Cross 
at once excited great interest among the 
people. Those whose traditional love for the 
Church had been l)rought from Virginia, at 
an early day, but whose allegiance might 
long since have given way, biit for the old 
dust-covered Prayer Books which were pre- 
served as heirdooms in their families, now 
felt their old attachment revive. 

The class of Churchmen whose minds had 
been impressed by the powerful writings of 
Chapman and Cooke,* and who regarded 
the Church as God^s kingdom in the world, 
took courage when it was noised abroad that 
a Bishop would soon be with them, to ad- 
minister those ordinances of the Gospel, 

c- See sketch of Dr. Cooke's Life in Church Review. 
July, 185G, VoL IX., p. 226. 

12 



134: LIFE OP BISHOP KAVENSCROFT* 



which had never jet been brought to the 
far-off West. 

The highest expectations which liad been 
raised by reports of Bishop Kavenscroft's 
heart-stirring eloquence were more than real- 
ized, when he made his appearance at Lex- 
ington. His matchless energj^ and his 
glowing piety, sustained and rendered even 
more commanding by his manly proportions, 
roused to enthusiasm the hopes of the chil- 
dren of Zion, 

Dr. Chapman thus speaks of this visit in 
a letter written expressly for this work ; 
"The Bishop arrived at my house in Lex- 
ington, at eight o'clock, Saturday evening, 
July 25, 1829, and was therefore seen for the 
first time by the congregation, on the next 
morning, in Christ Church, when seventy- 
one persons w^ere confirmed, and on Tuesday, 
the 28th, twenty more. The Bishop Avent 
the following day, and made no other ac- 
quaintance in Kentuckj^ but the passing 



IXTERESTTNG PARTICULARS. 135 



throiigli it, ill the stage, from Xashville to 
Maysville. At Lexington lie was most cor- 
dially received, and preached throe admir- 
able discourses, which were listened to by 
crowded audiences with profound attention. 
On Monday and Tuesday my house was 
thronged with those desirous of testifying 
their admiration of this truly excellent and 
evangelical Bishop. On these occasions, I 
took good care, by leading questions, to have 
him discourse on the great doctrines of the 
Cross, and this he did fully and freely to 
large numbers of delighted hearers. These 
interviews were altogether of a spiritual 
cast. The Bishop was the only S23eaker, and 
as it was with Paul at Athens, so it was with 
him. ' His spirit was stirred within him,' to 
declare the whole counsel of God with such 
fervor, that all found it good for their souls to 
be there. The language I do not profess to re- 
member, but the effect was electric and search- 
ing — ' a solemn stillness reigned ai*ound.- " 



A. LOXG JOUENEY STATE OF HEALTH GEXEEAL CON- 

VENTIO]ff MEDICAL ADVICE PROSPECT OF EECOVEET 

EETUEX HOME EELAPSE LAST SEE VICE XO MOEE 

HOPE OF LIFE DEATH-BED COXYEESATIOXS DE, FEEE- 

MAN's XAERATIYE — FOLLY OF EEPEXTAXCE DELAYED 

UNTIL THE CLOSE OF LIFE COMMUXIOX OF THE SICK 

THE SLEEP OF DEATH. 

/^^^^HE Episcopal visitation to Tennessee 
^fMP\\ and Kentucky, spoken of in the last 
clia2)ter, cost Bishop Ravenscroft a 
long and fatiguing journej — more 
than a thousand miles of which he 
performed in stages and steamboats, 
and a good part of that distance being over 
a rouo:h and mountainous res^ion. 

His friends entertained hopes that the trip 
might benefit his health, and he probably 
had some slight anticipations of the sort him- 




KKLAPSE. 137 



self; but tliey were by no means realized. 
lie attended the General Convention in 
Philadelphia, and then continued a month in 
the city, after the close of the session, in 
order to enjoy the benefit of medical advice. 
The skill of the eminent physicians who pre- 
scribed for him was so far successful that he 
returned to Xorth Carolina with sanguine 
expectations that, by proper care, his healtli 
might be thoroughly re-established. 

Thus fiir, the Bishop had always been 
reckless in the exposure of himself to the in- 
clemencies of weather, and while his con- 
stitution remained vigorous he, seemed to 
sufter little inconvenience. His physicians 
had so strongly impressed upon him the 
al)solute necessity of greater prudence, that 
he went home with a determination to follow 
their advice. He was, however^ exposed 
to severe cold, from a sudden change of 
weather, while going to Fayetteville, where 
he intended to make his future home, and all 
12* 



138 LIFE OF BISHOP EAVENSCEOFT. 



the worst symptoms of bis disease again re- 
turned, in a still more alarming shape. The 
Bishop disposed of his efiects in Williams- 
borough, pre]3aratoiy to his removal, and 
had reached Haleigh in December, where he 
designed to remain during the session of the 
Legislature. 

His health was now so miserable that his 
friends were filled with the most serious 
alarm. He continued, however, to struggle 
manfully against his disease, and prepared a 
sermon for the consecration of Christ Church, 
Raleigh, and performed that service. 

The chronic diarrhcea, to which he had so 
long been subject, was rapidly wearing away 
his strength, and other forms of disease 
began to develope themselves. 

Writing to a friend on the last of January, 
1830, he says : " I am weakening daily, and 
now can just sit up long enough at a time to 
scribble a letter occasionally." And then he 
adds : " As respects the result, I am, thank 



NO MORE HOPE OF LIFE. 139 

God, free from apprehension. I am ready. 
I Inimbly trust, through the grace of my 
Divine Saviour, to meet tlie will of God, 
whether that shall be for life or for death ; 
and I humbly thank Curist Jesus, my Lord, 
who sustains me in patience and cheerfulness 
tlirough the valley and shadow of death." 

The Bishop's mind was fully made up that 
this sickness would prove his last ; but he 
enjoyed the reasonable, religious, and holy 
hope of a Christian. Even to the closing 
hour of life, he continued to bear testimony 
to the great truths of the Gospel, which he 
had so faithfully preached. 

The Kev. George W. Freeman, then Rec- 
tor of Christ Church, Raleigh, and now 
Bishop of Arkansas,* has furnished some in- 
teresting particulars of Bishop Ravenscroft's 
last days. The original manuscript contain- 
ing them has been kindly lent to the writer, 

o News of the decei\se of this esteemed prelate is still 
recent, whUe these pa^es are passing through the press. 



14:0 LIFE OF BISHOP KAVENSCP^FT, 



for the better accomplishment of his pur- 
pose. 

'' On one occasion^" says Dr. Freeman^ 
"several persons being present, I turned to 
the book of Proverbs, and read to those who 
were sitting by me tlie following passage 
[Chap. XX. 21] — A/i inheritance Qnay he got- 
ten hastily at the heginning^ hut the end 
thereof shall not he Messed — ^and proceeded 
to observe how little encouragement was 
aiforded by this passage for a man to make 
haste to be rieh, etc. AVhen I ceased speak- 
ing, the Bishop, who I thought was not at- 
tending to what passed, exclaimed : ' There 
is another lesson to be learned from it. It 
may be applied to tliose who have hastily 
obtained a religious inheritance — who place 
their dependence on those sudden and eva- 
nescent fervors which they have experienced 
in some moment of excitement.' 

*' With respect to his own prospects he ap- 
peai-ed to entertain no apprehensions. I 



DEATH-BED CONVERSATIONS. 14:1 



Asked him, a few days before his decease, if 
he had never, during his ilhiess, been trou- 
bled with doubts and misgivings 2 

" ' !N'ever,' said he. ' So free have I been 
from any suggestions of the enemy, that I 
have never doubted for a moment, except 
that the thought has sometimes come over 
me that my tranquillity is possibly an evi- 
dence that Satan thinks himself sure of me, 
and theretbre lets me alone.' 

" On my answering, that as he had been 
laboring to pull down Satan's kingdom — had 
been constantly engaged in fighting, not in 
liis ranks, but in opposition to him, it was 
not reasonable to suppose that he had any 
claims upon him. 

" ^ True,' said he ; ' but then I have had 
such a body of fiin to struggle against, and 
seem now to have been so much engaged in 
preaching myself, rather than God, that I 
feel humbled in the dust. My only ground 
of consolation is, that as Cueist suffered in 



142 LIFE OF BISHOP KATENSCROFT. 



weakness for our redemption, mucli more 
may we hope to be saved by the power of 
His resurrection.' 

" Speaking of his enfeebled state, and what 
he called the wandering of his thoughts, he 
remarked on the folly of delaying repentance 
to a sick bed, and expressed, as he had often 
done before, his desire to warn every one of 
the hopelessness of being able to settle on a 
dying bed so vas-t a concern as that of mak- 
ing one's peace with God. '^If I had my 
work now all to do, what would become of 
me? If I had put off this matter to this 
time, it must have been entirely neglected.' 

" He received the Holy Communion once 
while on his sick bed, and had appointed to 
receive it again a few days before his death. 
But when the time came^ he was so much 
exhausted by the preparations which he had 
made, and which he would not omit, in order 
that he might come, as he expressed hin> 
self, 'literally clean to the heavenly feast/ 



COMMUNION OF THE SICK. 143 



'that lie was obliged to forego the oppor- 
tunity. 

'' ' I am not in a condition,' said he, ^ to 
partake discerningly, and I have no supersti- 
tious notions respecting the Eucharist. I do 
not regard it as a viaticum^ necessary to the 
safety of the departing soul. I believe that, 
in my case, the will will be accepted for the 
deed ; and tell my brethren [who were assem- 
bled in the next room to partake with him] 
that though I am denied the privilege of 
shouting the praises of redeeming love once 
more with them around the table of our com- 
mon Lord, yet I will commune with them in 
spirit.' 

" The evening before his death, I had left 
him for a few mom-en ts. Soon after, receiv- 
ing intelligence that he was dying, I hastened 
to him, and found him nearly speechless, and 
sinking, to all appearance, very fast. I asked 
him if I should pray. ' I cannot follow you,' 
was his reply, uttered with great difficulty. 



14:4: LIFE OP BISHOP EAfEJ^SCEOFTV 



I then kneeled down by him, and praje(J 
silently. After some moments he seemed to 
revive, and motioned to n& to retire from hi& 
bed-side and leave him undisturbed, I sat 
and watched him from that time till he ex- 
pired, which he did about one o^clock the 
following morning [March 5th, 1830], with- 
out having spoken for five or six hours. He 
appeared, however, to be in the entire pos- 
session of his mind to the last, and expired 
without a struggle," 




€\mttx ^ntwittw 



BrKIAL — MIXTJTE DIRECTIONS IN HIS WILL — LIBRAKY FOE 
THE DIOCESE WORKS FOR TUE PRESS — PERSONAL AP- 
PEARANCE — MANNERS — SOLEMNITY IN CHURCH — RE- 
PORTS OF EYE-WITNESSES ORDINARY COURTESIES OF 

LIFE — AN OFT-TOLD STORY SPOILED — LOVE TOWARDS 
GOD — SUCCESS IN THE MINISTRY; — THE BEST KNOWL- 
EDGE — AFFECTION FOE HIS CLERGY — THE WISE OLD 
MAN AT REST. 

HE remains of Bishop Eavenscroft 

were deposited in a vanlt beneath 

the chancel of Christ Church, Ea- 

leigh, and the following directions 

concerning his burial, as found in 

his will, were scrupulously observed. 

" My will and desire is that the coffin to 

contain my mortal remains be of plain pine 

wood, stained black, and without ornament 

13 




146 LIFE OF BISHOP RAVENSCROFT. 



of any kind ; that my body be carried to the 
grave by my old horse Pleasant, led by my 
old servant Johnson ; that the service for the 
burial of the dead, as set forth in the Book 
of Common Prayer, and none other, be used 
at my interment, with the 5th, Yth, 9th, 10th, 
and 11th verses of the 16th Psalm,* to be 
used instead of the hymn commonly sung; 
and that the Kev. George W. Freeman, Rec- 
tor of Christ Church, Paleigh, do perform 
the said services." 

The Bishop bequeathed his valuable library 
to the diocese, to be preserved for the use of 
the clergy and laity of the Protestant Episco- 
pal Church in E'orth Carolina. 

He also left to the " Episcopal Bible, 
Prayer Book, Tract, and Missionary Society" 
of the diocese, in which he had always felt a 
deep interest, the copyright of such of his 
writings as his friends might think it advis- 

« Psalm 13th in our present Selections. 



ERSONAL APFEAKANCE. 147 

able to publish. Two large and liandsoine 
volumes were afterwards issued, in accord- 
ance with this permission. 

In person Bishop Eavenscroft was large 
and commanding, and his manner, especially 
when engaged in any of the public offices of 
the ministry, was remarkably dignified, and 
80 solemn and impressive as to inspire all 
who witnessed it with reverence. It was im- 
possible not to partake of the consciousness 
which he ever seemed to feel when standing 
up at the altar of God. 

The writer has often heard a friend speak 
of the deep impression made upon his mind, 
when he heard the Bishop recite the Ten 
Commandments in the Communion Ser\ace. 
Another relates that on a certain Confirmation 
occasion, a very large number of persons be- 
ing present, when he gave out the beautiful 
hymn, " Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove," 
and began to read it, every one rose up, as 
if struck with some overpowering influence. 



lis LIFE OF BISHOP EAYENSCEOFT. 



In liis general intercourse with society, the 
Bishop was polite and courteous, although, 
when excited in debate, his loud tone of 
voice and warmth of manner conveyed the 
im^Dression of a dictatorial spirit, with which 
he could not justly be accused. 

His deej) self-abasement on account of sin 
promj)ted him to speak of himself in terms 
60 strong and forcible, as sometimes to mis- 
lead strangers, and do injury to himself. 

The truth is, that he felt so grateful to 
God, for having called him to a knowledge 
of the truth, and permitted him to preach it 
to others, that he could think of no terms too 
glowing in which to magnify the Divine 
goodness towards him. 

A story was very generally circulated 
through various parts of the country, during 
the Bishop's life, and is believed by many to 
tliis day, which contains not a word of truth. 
It runs thus : Before Mr. Ravenscroft aban- 
doned the service of the world, and devoted 



AN OFT-TOLD STORY SPOILED. 149 



liiiiiself to God, he liad severely chastised a 
servant one day for disobedience, and had 
ordered him to his cabin. He then secretly 
follows, and stops in a secluded position near 
by, in order to ascertain, if possible, the feel- 
ings which the oflender would manifest. 

To the master's unutterable surprise, he 
found him engaged in fervent prayer to God 
for himself, the passionate being whose lash 
had been so mercilessly applied ; and he was 
so overcome by this pathetic appeal in his 
behalf, that he abandoned his former course 
of life, and became a sincere and devoted 
servant of the Lord. 

It is almost a pity to spoil so good a story, 
but faithfulness as a biographer obliges me 
to do so. While Bishop Raven scr oft was in 
Kentucky, Dr. Chapman, of Lexington, in- 
quired as to the truth of this narrative. He 
replied, that " when rumors of that descrip- 
tion are current, if not altogether correct, 
there is usually to be found some incident, 
13* 



160 LIFE OF BISHOP liAVENSCKOFT. 



actually occurring, to wliich tlieir circulation 
miglit be traced. But, in tliis instance [he 
added], there was not the slightest founda- 
tion for the story. There was no such vic- 
tim, no such prayer, and no such cause of 
conversion." 

The most prominent feature in the Bishop's 
Christian character was love towards God, 
growing out of a profound sense of the 
mercy which had been extended to him, a 
poor erring sinner. 

As a minister of the gosvel of Christy he 
was most diligent an:l zealous, and he lived 
to see many fruits of his labors. 

Without having any great claims as a 
scholar^ he was thoroughly conversant with 
the Holy Scrij)tures; and, certainly, a man 
of whom this could be truly said, he was, 
indeed, a workman who needed not to be 
ashamed. 

As a Bishop^ he was untiring in his de- 
votion to the duties of his office, and E"orth 



TIIK WISK OLD MAN AT IlEST. 151 



Carolina can never forget the debt of obli- 
gation Avlilcli she owes to him. 

In his intercoui-se with his clergy, the 
Bishop was kind and affectionate. He re- 
garded them as his sons^ and they looked up 
to him as a loved and honov^di father. Kone 
but offenders against the laws of God and 
His Church had cause to fear him. In his 
presence all distinctions vanished, except 
that which his dignified person, his com- 
manding talents, and his undoubted piety 
might justly claim for him. 

And now, while taking our last look at 
this great and good man, laid low by death, 
it is with the feelings of one who gazes with 
admiration uj^on the matchless proportions 
of some mighty triumph of the sculptor's 
skill, thrown down from its j^edestal by the 
rude hand of time, yet grand and beautiful 
in ruins. 

* ' The good old mau Li gone ! 
An Apostle's chair is void ; 



162 LIFE OF BISHOP EAVENSCROFT. 



There is dust on his mitre thro"vvn, 
And they've broken his pastoral rod ; 

And the fold of his love he has left alone, 
To account for its care to God. 

" The wise old man is gone ! 

His honored head lies low, 
And his thoughts of power are done, 

And his voice's manly flow, 
And the pen that, for truth, like a sword was drawn, 

Is still and soulless now. 

' ' The brave old man is gone ! 
With his armor on, he fell ; 
Nor a groan nor a sigh was drawn, 

When his spirit fled, to tell ; 
For mortal sufferings, keen and long, 
Had no power his heart to quell." 




LIFE OF GEORGE HERBERT, 

BY 

GEORGE L. DUYCKINCK. 



George Herbert is of all England's sacred poets the 
most sure of an enduring fame. He was a true poeU 
His life, too, was a very lovely one — that of a true Chris- 
tian, of a scholar, a gentleman, and a faithful parish 
priest. More than this, he was beloved of dear old Izaak 
Walton, who wrote his life with that sweet homeliness of 
style which wins all honest hearts to him. Mr. Duyckinck 
has undertaken, in this pretty little volume, to set forth 
Herbert's life again " ■\\'ith a simplicity of style and ful- 
ness of detail which should in some degree meet the re* 
quirements both of youthful and mature readers." Ho 
has been very successful in a not very easy task. He has 
come to the work imbued with a love of his subject, and 
thoroughly understanding it ; and he writes with an un- 
affected earnestness and purity quite in keeping with 
it. The young reader will find much valuable and inter- 
esting information in the book, upon matters kindred to 
or connected ^Nith its main purpose ; and it is calculated 
to foster a correct literary taste, no less than to beget a 
healthy moral tone. — Courier and Eivjuircr. 
30 



THE LIVES OF THE BISHOPS. 

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WALTER BINNING 25 do. 

THE CLAREMONT TALES So do. 

THE STORY OF A NEEDLE 25 da 

FLORA; or, SELF-DECEPTION 35 da 

THE TWO PATHS, &c 25 da 

TRUE HEROISM 25 da